If you've ever seen Rocky & Bullwinkle's "Fractured Fairy Tales" then you have a pretty good idea what's in store for you in Gail Carson Levine's Fairy's Return and Other Princess Tales.
Beginning withThe Fairy's Mistake, based on "Toads and Diamonds," two sisters (one kind and one spiteful) meet the good fairy Ethelinda at the well. But when Ethelinda's reward turns out to be more of a punishment, and her punishment a reward, she must find a way to fix her mistake.
The Princess Test is an amusing retelling of "The Princess and the Pea." Lorelei is not a princess, but she's always been as delicate and sensitive as one. She falls in love with Prince Nicholas, but can only marry him if she passes the princess test.
Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep is a hilarious re-imagining of "Sleeping Beauty." Princess Sonora is gifted with brilliance ten times that of a normal person. She's also cursed—someday she will prick her finger and sleep for a hundred years. Sonora loves to answer people's questions, but nobody wants to listen. A hundred years after she falls asleep, Prince Christopher wants to know the answer to everything, but is told that only the legendary Princess Sonora knows.
Cinderellis and the Glass Hill, a take on "The Princess and the Glass Hill," is the story of Ellis, a lonely lad who invents all sorts of crazy things to impress his brothers. Marigold is the lonely princess, whose father builds an enormous glass hill and challenges any man to get to the top and claim three golden apples in order to win the princess's hand. When Ellis' brothers continue to ignore him he decides the ultimate way to impress them is by climbing the hill and winning the golden apples.
For Biddle's Sake—a retelling of the story "Puddocky," about a girl named Parsley who is raised by a witch after her father is caught stealing from the witch's garden. When Parsley is turned into a toad by the jealous witch, she decides to help a young prince compete against his two brothers for the throne.
The Fairy's Return is a wacky revamping of "The Golden Goose." Robin is a baker's son. Lark is a princess. They fall in love but the king will only give the princess's hand in marriage to the man who can complete a number of impossible tasks, including making the forlorn princess laugh. Luckily, Robin comes across the fairy Ethelinda (from Fairy's Mistake) who is determined to get it right this time.
Gail Carson Levine's fractured fairy tales are silly and fun, and perfect for reading aloud to both boys and girls. The romances are innocent and sweet, involving princes and princesses who become friends before they fall in love (a light-hearted jab at the classic love-at-first-sight trope.) As a bonus, her stories are written with enough wit and humor to keep even parents entertained.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here
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