Sunday, September 19, 2010

Review: The Fairy's Return and other Princess Tales by Gail Carson Levine

The Fairy's Return and other Princess Tales
by Gail Carson Levine
MG, Fairy Tale
400 pages
published: 2002
2 of 5 stars / 4 of 5 stars


What would you do if diamonds and rubies tumbled out of your mouth every time you spoke? Well, that's what happens to Rosella after a run-in with a misguided fairy in The Fairy's Mistake. If you were turned into a toad, would you pine after your prince as much as Parsley does in For Biddle's Sake?
The road to happily-ever-after is never easy, but the masterful touch of Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine will keep readers laughing their way through these fresh retellings of popular fairy tales. - from Goodreads

Just to be clear, this is a book of short stories. I recall being disappointed when that realization hit me after I had grabbed this book at the school book fair.


After the initial shock of having a volume of short stories subsided, I began to enjoy this little book. The stories where cute retellings with a sense of humor. I happily skipped my way through the first few, delighted and thinking about how pleasant these will be for Jadyn. They weren't very deep or earth-shattering, but sweet and moral and clever.

Around the half way point, I changed my mind. What had been charming and amusing, became repetitive and ridiculous. My momentum diminished and then died. I doubt I would have finished if I hadn't stuck it in a place where I could pick it up when boredom overcame my annoyance with the book. The stories became so repetitive, in fact, that now I can't separate them in my head. Help!

Yet, there is a silver lining. I gave this to Jadyn, the target audience, and she loved it. She devoured it in a matter of days. I don't think she noticed that every male character had two older (and awful) brothers. I'll even suggest this to be a great introduction type book for any princess or fairy loving little girl.

So, 2 stars from me for the sake of the early pleasure, and 4 stars for the middle grade club.

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