"Anklet for a Princess is, just as the subtitle suggests, an Indian Cinderella story. However, my kids were so captivated by this book, with its colorful illustrations, that you would have thought they had never heard the Cinderella story before. The lengthy, in-depth plot took a few nights to get through, but my kids remained spellbound to the very end.
Cinduri is a young beauty with dark hair extending below her waist. She lives with her mean stepmother and stepsister who, of course, make her do all the chores.
One day Cinduri goes to fetch drinking water from the lake (which she carries by balancing a heavy pot on her head) and meets a great white snake with a big red jewel on his head. He is angered by her living conditions, adopts her as his goddaughter, and promises to do anything for her whenever she summons him with a magic song.
Cinduri longs to attend the Navaratri Festival to meet the Crown Prince, who is searching for a bride. So Godfather Snake magically makes beautiful clothes and jewelry appear. But instead of glass slippers, she wears anklets with bells and diamonds. After dazzling the Prince, Cinduri runs to leave by midnight, when all the magic will disappear, and she leaves behind an anklet. It is the anklet that brings the two together in the end.
From a cultural perspective, this book is very educational. It reveals Indian customs, shows the characters in traditional dress, and emphasizes the Indian way of life. My kids were fascinated by the jewelry and clothing of the characters, and the magic snake was "totally cool." This book is a great version of an old favorite story."