Sixth Kevin Tong Print — Cinderella


Editing to add: I got one!
Update 4:04 PM ET: Gold is sold out. Silver is still available.

The sixth and last print in the Once Upon a Time series will go on sale today, at a random time. Keep an eye on the Mondo Twitter account for an announcement when the print is released.

The Cinderella story depicted in this print is very different from the one I heard as a child. This one goes back to the original tale by the Brothers Grimm.

Inside the silhouette of Cinderella’s ball gown, the print shows a headstone in a graveyard, with flowers blooming behind it and a bird in the tree above.

I don’t remember anything about a grave in the version of the tale I read as a child, but looking now at the Grimm tale, it’s right there in the opening lines:

A rich man’s wife became sick, and when she felt that her end was drawing near, she called her only daughter to her bedside and said, “Dear child, remain pious and good, and then our dear God will always protect you, and I will look down on you from heaven and be near you.” With this she closed her eyes and died.

The girl went out to her mother’s grave every day and wept, and she remained pious and good. When winter came the snow spread a white cloth over the grave, and when the spring sun had removed it again, the man took himself another wife.

In this version of the tale, it is a bird in a tree, not a fairy godmother, who gives Cinderella her gown:

One day it happened that the father was going to the fair, and he asked his two stepdaughters what he should bring back for them.

“Beautiful dresses,” said the one.

“Pearls and jewels,” said the other.

“And you, Cinderella,” he said, “what do you want?”

“Father, break off for me the first twig that brushes against your hat on your way home.”

So he bought beautiful dresses, pearls, and jewels for his two stepdaughters. On his way home, as he was riding through a green thicket, a hazel twig brushed against him and knocked off his hat. Then he broke off the twig and took it with him. Arriving home, he gave his stepdaughters the things that they had asked for, and he gave Cinderella the twig from the hazel bush.

Cinderella thanked him, went to her mother’s grave, and planted the branch on it, and she wept so much that her tears fell upon it and watered it. It grew and became a beautiful tree.

Cinderella went to this tree three times every day, and beneath it she wept and prayed. A white bird came to the tree every time, and whenever she expressed a wish, the bird would throw down to her what she had wished for…

… [T]he stepmother said, “It’s no use. You are not coming with us, for you have no clothes, and you don’t know how to dance. We would be ashamed of you.” With this she turned her back on Cinderella, and hurried away with her two proud daughters.

Now that no one else was at home, Cinderella went to her mother’s grave beneath the hazel tree, and cried out:

Shake and quiver, little tree,
Throw gold and silver down to me.

Then the bird threw a gold and silver dress down to her, and slippers embroidered with silk and silver. She quickly put on the dress and went to the festival.

The Grimm story also has a gory ending that had been scrubbed from the Disneyfied version I remember reading as a kid. It’s like a horror movie, with a stepsister hacking off her own toe and heel with a knife to try and fit into Cinderella’s slipper. The tale ends with birds pecking out the stepsisters’ eyes. Yikes.


Kevin Tong’s illustrations are also used in the new Once Upon a Time book..

What do you think?