Rachel Hope Crossman

Writer, teacher

Page 2 of 2

SAVING CINDERELLA: FAIRY TALES AND CHILDREN IN THE 21ST CENTURY by Rachel Hope Crossman named Finalist USA Book News Best Book Awards


SAVING CINDERELLA: FAIRY TALES AND CHILDREN IN THE 21ST CENTURY has been named Finalist in the USA Best Book Awards, Children’s Educational Category.

A complete list of winners and finalists in each category can be found at:

Children's Educational Category

Children’s Educational Category

Finalist, USA Best Books 2014

Finalist, USA Best Books 2014

Get it locally at University Press Books 2430 Bancroft Way, CA 94704 510-548-0585


 Get it at Barne&Noble Booksellers!

Get it at Amazon.USA!

Get it at Amazon.UK!

Rashin Coatie, the Scottish Cinderella

West Berkeley Church

 She left before the blessing… West Berkeley Church

Once upon a time, in Scotland, there lived “a king who had one lovely daughter, and whose wife had died, married for the second time an ill-natured woman with three ugly girls of her own whose envy of the king’s daughter was matched by their treatment of her.” They put her to work in the kitchen, and the only clothing they allowed her was “a garment of rushes”. That’s why everyone called her Rashin Coatie. They fed her upon scraps of food. However, all of this the girl easily endured for before her mother had died, she had given her child a gift. This was “a little red calf, and Rashin Coatie had only to ask the red calf for anything she wanted, and she could have it.” Soon the stepmother wondered how Rashin Coatie was not troubled by hunger, and spied upon her, and discovered the secret of the little red calf. She called for a butcher and had it slaughtered. The king’s daughter was stricken with grief and sobbed aloud but the dead calf called to her, saying,” Tak’ me up, bane by bane, And pit me aneth yon gray stane.” So the girl picked the calf up, bone by bone, and put it beneath a big gray stone, and knew that she had only to ask the bones, and her wish would be granted. Now came Yuletide, with its feasting and bright church services. But Rashin Coatie’s stepmother forbad her to attend services, telling the girl that she must stay home and prepare the Christmas feast. No sooner had the Queen and her three ugly girls gone to the kirk, than the King’s daughter ran to the gray stone and told it her plight. “The calf promplty provided her with braw claes, and she was the grandest and brawest lady at kirk.” There was a prince at church and he saw he and fell in love with her. He meant to speak to her after the blessing, but the girl fled before that time. The service continued the next day, and again Rashin Coatie went to church in finery. Again the prince saw her, and now he was more determined that ever to meet this mysterious girl. But again she left before the blessing, so that her family would not miss her. Well, by the third night of Yuletide mass, the prince was ready. He sat by the door, and when the strange young woman tried to slip away, he blocked her way. She dodged around him nimbly, and fled, losing an embroidered slipper of satin. This the prince collected, then proclaimed that he would find its owner and marry the girl who could wear the shoe. The Queen heard this and gathered her three daughters about her. When the prince came to their castle each ugly one took her turn with the shoe. The last girl slipped into the kitchen with the slipper, and begged the hen-wife apply a knife to her toes and heel. Triumphantly the girl walked out wearing the shoe. The prince felt a great unease, yet he had to keep his word. He escorted her out the door, and the two walked toward the kirk to be married. Yet a little bird began to sing, and the prince made out these words: “Minched fit, and pinched fit, Beside the king she rides, But braw fit and bonny fit, In the kitchen neuk she hides.” So back they went and the ugly daughter’s treachery was discovered. That’s when Rashin Coatie came out of the kitchen, and approached the prince “and when she was near, the slipper jumped out of his pocket and on to her foot. The prince married her and they lived happily all their days.”
From Opie, I. & Opie, P. (1974) The Classic Fairy Tales
Notes: This story shows how the motif of the cow as helper appears in Europe in almost exactly the same manner as it does in Africa. (See The Ox of the Wonderful Horns, Zimbabwe, and Den Röd Ko, Denmark)
Montessori Connection 6-12: Geography/Europe/Scotland
1. Read Rashin Coatie and pay attention to how the girl gets her name.
2. Write down what she wore. (a coat of rushes, which are a kind of tall grass)
3. Learn that garment means anything that a person can wear as clothing.
4. Learn that in the USA we would probably call her Rushie Coat, or Grass Dress to describe how she looked.
5. Find Scotland on a map.
6. Learn more about the United Kingdom:How to Draw the United Kingdom’s Sights and Symbols (Kid’s Guide to Drawing the Countries of the World) or Scotland for Kids or try: MacBeth : For Kids (Shakespeare Can Be Fun series)

Available at Barnes & Noble!

Good footwear is a girl's best friend.

Good footwear is a girl’s best friend.

Who was the first Cinderella? Why is she often identified by a lost shoe? Are rings really magic circles? Find the answers to these questions and more in SAVING CINDERELLA: FAIRY TALES AND CHILDREN IN THE 21ST CENTURY.

The Magic Happens July 17th, 6:00 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley 94704

The magic word is: GOOSE

What's good for the GOOSE is good for the GANDER!

What’s good for the GOOSE is good for the GANDER!

Buy the book for just $10 on July 17th at University Press Books, 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley 94704  when you tell Rachel that what’s good for the GOOSE is good for the GANDER! Find it on Facebook

Come out and hear Rachel Hope Crossman tell the story of Catskins, America’s own backwoods Cinderella. Discover when the first Cinderella lost her shoe and found true love, the reasons birds often help this hapless girl, and why rings are actually teeny-tiny magic circles!

Author Event July 17th in Berkeley

Rachel Hope Crossman will tell the story of Catskins, America’s own Cinderella story from the Appalachian Mountains. Discover when the first Cinderella lost her shoe, the reason little birds help her in some countries and cows and buffalos in others.  Find out why rings are actually teeny-tiny magic circles! Thursday, July 17th 6:00 – 7:30 University Press Books 2430 Bancroft Way Berkeley 94704


Good footwear is a girl's best friend.

Good footwear is a girl’s best friend.


SAVING CINDERELLA: FAIRY TALES AND CHILDREN IN THE 21ST CENTURY, available now at Amazon, or ask your local independent book store to order it today.


Ask for it at your local, independent bookstore.

The book is here! If you are looking for a fun way to help your child, or a child you care for  become a better reader, look no farther. This  one-volume resource explains the history of fairy tales, the Five Pillars of Literacy and how children learn to read, and why reading the world-wide Cinderella story multiple times supports phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and understanding.










Honoring the USA/Russian Collaboration on the ISS

This morning I watched the press conference coverage of ISS Expedition 40 .


So inspiring to see the crew, 1 American, 1 Russian, 1 German, posing for photos and taking questions in Moscow, then touring Red Square. Best moment? The big YES from all three about whether international cooperation in space must continue.

In honor of our NASA guys Mastracchio and Swanson, JAXA Commander Koichi Wakata, and ROSCOSMOS guys Skvortsov, Tyruin and Artemyev I will be posting Cinderella stories from the USA, Russia, Japan, and Germany.


Story #1 Chernushka (Little Cinderella) Moscow, 1861

Once upon a time, in Russia, there lived “a gentleman and his wife”. They had a little girl named Masha, and doted upon her. But then Masha’s mother died. Her father married for the second time, to a lady with two girls of her own. These girls were unkind to their new stepsister, and made her do all the dirty work. Because she had to “clean stoves and attend to fires”, she got so sooty each day that she was black with coal. That’s why they called her “the Black Girl”. It happened one day that the king gave a summons for all of the maidens in the land to come to his castle. He wanted to see them for himself, and think about choosing a bride from among them. But Masha’s stepmother would not let her go with the other girls. Instead, she “left her a bushelful of barley, soot, and flour, mixed together, and told her to separate them all by the time of her return.” Instead, Masha sat down and cried. That’s when “two doves flew in, and separated barley, soot, and flour.” Then one bird “alighted on her right, and the other on her left shoulder” and Masha found to her delight that her dress had become fine and beautiful. “The doves said,’Go to the palace, but do not stay until midnight.” So that is what Masha did. When the King saw her, he was fascinated. He “tried to catch her but could not.” The next night she came to the second ball, dressed once again in finery from the doves. Again, the King tried and failed to catch her. So, when he held a ball on the third night in a row, he “ordered the stairs covered with pitch, and Masha lost one of her shoes.” Then the King ordered that the entire kingdom be searched for the girl who had lost the shoe. “At last, “they came to Masha’s house. The stepmother told her daughter to put the shoe on; it would not fit. ‘Cut off your great toe!’ she cried, ‘and the shoe will fit. You will become princess and need never walk.” So her daughter did this, and put on the shoe. But when the King tried to carry her back to the palace, “two doves flew up and cried, ‘Blood on the foot!”. So the King looked down and saw the bloody, dripping foot, and knew that he had been fooled. Her brought her back and tried the shoe on the other girl, but it did not fit her either. So then Masha had a turn and “it fitted her exactly, and instantly, she was dressed in the finest of dresses.” So the King married her the very next day. On the way home from the church service, the doves rode on Masha’s shoulders. Then they “flew to the stepsisters, and plucked out one eye of each.”

From: Cox, M.R. (1893/2011) p. 150
Notes: So here we have another instance of doves pecking out the bad girls’ eyes, just like in the story of Aschenpüttle, collected later by the Brothers Grimm.

Find 365 Cinderellas!

During the year 2011 I posted a new Cinderella story every day. Find all 365 of them here

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Newer posts »