The story of Cinderella is possibly the world's most popular folk tale. The earliest known version is from Greece around two thousand years ago, and over the next thousand years, it traveled to France, Italy and Germany, and eventually to the Walt Disney studio in America.
But as the Cinderella story traveled from Greece to Western Europe, it was also carried eastward to Asia along the Silk Road and other ancient trade routes. The story of Ye Xian in this book is the oldest known Asian version, first appearing in a book of folk tales by Duan Chengshi in 860 AD. That story was told in just 750 Chinese words.
The Ye Xian story matches the modern Cinderella story more closely than later European versions. But unlike the Disney movie, it does not simply end with the heroine marrying and living happily ever after. The story is more complex and more interesting, showing Zhuang, Hindu, Buddhist, and Chinese influences.
In this book, the best-selling writing team of Pepper and Wang retell this wonderful story using just 450 different Chinese words, most of which are in the standard 1200-word HSK4 vocabulary. This limited vocabulary makes the story easily accessible to beginning and intermediate students of Chinese. A glossary of all words is in the back of the book, along with an English translation. A free audiobook version is available on the Imagin8 Press channel of YouTube, and also at www.imagin8press.com.