Gr. 3-5, younger for reading aloud. There are no glass slippers in this tale based on folklore from Hidalgo, Mexico, but elements of the Cinderella story remain. When her mother grows ill, Domitila, a skilled cook and craftswoman, takes a job at the governor's house. Timoteo, the governor's son, loves her exceptional dishes, but Domitila's mother dies, and she returns home before Timoteo meets her. He travels the state, asking locals about "the girl who can make delicacies from desert weeds," and meets evil Malvina, who schemes to marry Domitila's grieving father and present her own lazy daughter to Timoteo as the woman he seeks. Luckily, Timoteo meets Domitila by chance, and the expected happy ending ensues: love, marriage, and new life in the governor's house. Both the text and Connie McLennan's oil illustrations tell the story satisfactorily, though children will probably skip over the heavy-handed, bilingual aphorisms framing each text box. Young readers will enjoy comparing this moralistic story with the familiar fairy tale, and will come away with an expanded sense of the region's landscape and culture. A brief glossary and a recipe are appended.