The Wonderful Tale of Donkey Skin

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Although based on Charles Perrault's Peau d'Ane, The Wonderful Tale of Donkey Skin is really a discussion with children on many topics ranging from ethics to clothing. A French princess in the early Middle Ages runs away from home to escape marriage, upon her fairy godmother's advice. Disguised as a poor kitchen maid dressed in a donkey skin, she catches a prince's eye when she dresses herself in one of her past fineries. He falls desperately in love and becomes depressed when he cannot find her again. In a Cinderella-like ending, he puts her ring back on her finger as her donkey skin falls off her shoulders. Since European medieval fairy tales tend to have gory and shocking elements, The May Fairy decided to retell her favorite fairy tales with some changes so they would be acceptable to today's parents and children. In Donkey Skin, she inserts an evil minister to remove the original hint of incest in Perrault's version. However, when she undertook to write down the story, The May Fairy found she wasn't able to tell it straight forward anymore, because all the children she told stories to in her life started asking questions and discussing them in her head. The solution was to write the story down as a conversation between Grandma Nainai and Zakiyy, her grandson. The result also happens to be the perfect reading material for young children who are able to decode words and sentences, but have yet to develop metacognitive skills such as prediction, summarizing, analysis, and synthesis. The discussions over sticky points actually stimulates the young reader to develop his/her own opinion and higher level reading skills. For instance, when the prince looks through a keyhole and catches his first glance of Donkey Skin in all her past splendor, Grandson Zakiyy is shocked at the "peeping" behavior. Grandma Nainai realizes it and decides to punish the prince on the spot by making him go blind in that eye. Zakiyy reacts in the way young children would. 

Author: The May Fairy

Publisher: outskirts press

Paperback

27 pages

Children ages