Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin illustrated by David Shannon

Author & Storyteller 

Rafe Martin is the author of over 20 books that have been translated into many languages including Swedish, French, Xhosa, Zulu, Afrikaans, Korean, Japanese and Portuguese. Speaking as both an author and a storyteller, Rafe has appeared in thousands of schools, libraries, festivals, and conferences in nearly every state—including Alaska and Hawaii—and as far away as Japan.

In schools he works with all grade and ages, kindergarten through college and adult, telling stories and sharing an empowering vision of language, writing, creativity, and imagination. He leaves listeners with an awareness of their own power to create. He offers writing, storytelling and professional development workshops, as well as adult and family performances.

Among the many prestigious festivals, conferences, and institutions at which he has been featured are: The National Storytelling Festival; The Joseph Campbell Foundation Festival of Myth, Folklore, and Story; The P.E.N. American Literary Center, The American Museum of Natural History, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Ganondagan-NYS Historic and Sacred Seneca Site, The Chautauqua Institute, The Three Apples Storytelling Festival, Sharing the Fire Storytelling Conference, The International Storytelling Institute, The Sierra Storytelling Festival, The Vassar College Summer Institute on Children’s Book Publishing, The Talking Island Storytelling Festival of Honolulu, Hawaii-to name just a few!

His keynotes and workshops at library and reading conferences include: The American Library Association, the New York Library Association, library/media conferences in Michigan, Utah, Alabama, Tennessee and New York; The National Council of Teachers of English; and The International Reading Association International Convention.

Rafe Martin’s writing has appeared in Parabola: The Magazine of Myth and Tradition; Blind Donkey; The Sun; Enquiring Mind; Storytelling Magazine; Mountain Record; Zen Bow; Buddhadharma; Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and The Animals’ Voice as well as in the books Who Says? Essays in Contemporary Storytelling; Between the Lines: A Modern Midrash; Peace Tales; Stories for the Spirit; Stories of the Heart; The Ghost and I; Read-to-Tell Tales, More Best-Loved Tales from the National Storytelling Festival and in A Treasury of Stories Recorded Live at the 20th Anniversary National Storytelling Festival.

Rafe has a Master’s degree in English literature from the University of Toronto where he studied with such notable figures as Northrop Frye and Marshall McLuhan. He was the first person to ever be granted Highest Honors in English from Harpur College (now Binghamton University) where he graduated magna cum laude.

Published by G P Putnam & Sons 1992
Where to buy:
Barnes & Noble

Illustrated by David Shannon

David Shannon grew up in Spokane, Washington and graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 1983. He has written and/or illustrated over 25 books for children, including the bestselling "Too Many Toys," "A Bad Case of Stripes," and the semi-autobiographical "No, David!," which received a Caldecott Honor. His newest book is "It’s Christmas, David!." David lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Heidi, their daughter, Emma, and their dog, Fergus.


An award-winning recreation of a classic Native American (Algonquin) Indian Cinderella, this is a mysterious, magical, powerful book. Many of Rafe’s readers call it their favorite of his books, and it has won much recognition in the world of children’s literature. It is the Cinderella we all know, but bears no resemblance to the Disney version.

“There are many versions of the Cinderella story,
but none is more eloquent or
affecting—or more strikingly illustrated.”

—Parent’s Magazine

My Thoughts 

In a small Indian village by Lake Ontario there was a humongous wigwam and in this wigwam lived a wealthy, handsome Invisible Being and his sister. Every single woman in the village wanted to marry the Invisible Being because of his great wealth.

Also in this village lived a poor man and his three daughters. Two of the daughters were very self-centered and made the third daughter do the chore of tending the fire. From tending the fire the young woman had burns and scars all over her hands, arms and face because of sparks flying up and on her. Her sisters teased her and called her Rough-Face Girl.

One day the two sisters dressed up in the finest their father could provide and they went to seek out the invisible being to become his bride. But they first had to answer his sisters questions correctly.

The third sister has faith that she will marry the Invisible One. So she dresses in what little her father has to offer, which was far less than her sister had. Which of the young women do you think the handsome Invisible One should choose? Why?

This is a different twist on the Cinderella tale that we all know well. The story in this book is an Algonquin Indian Cinderella tale.

I enjoyed this story with the Rough-Face Girl. Most people only saw her scars and had no idea what beauty she held within.

How many times have you looked at someone and not wanted to be their friend just because of their outer appearance?

I purchased this book for my own pleasure to read.

I highly recommend this book for ages 8 and up.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.


  1. I love to read her books, thanks for your thoughts -like your site, stopping over from goodreads.
    Paula O(