November 2012, Orion Children's
256 pages, Hardback
Themes: Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs, The Princess and the Frog, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, classical fairy tales retold, colour illustrations on every page, happy endings, true princesses, magic, fairies, wicked witches,
Summary from Orion
Four enchanting Early Reader princess stories with magical illustrations in stunning gift book format, re-told by bestselling author Sally Gardner.
Thanks to the anime Lilpri (2nd anime up from the bottom of the post) I'm currently very much in love with fairy tales (I have always enjoyed them). I was absolutely delighted with this book. As you can see from the cover it is very girly - lots of pink and pastel colours. I liked the little touches on the pages like hearts and flowers. Sally is truly talented to have written this and done all the illustrations. There's a paragraph on each page, usually with an illustration. It is easy to read for the target age group, and will be enjoyed by any who love the stories. I was pleased to read about Snow White because I couldn't remember the finer details of that story, and she is absolutely beautiful. My favourite is probably Cinderella - although I preferred how she looked as a servant to when she went to the ball and married the prince. In fact I prefer all the princesses how they looked before the end.
The reason this book lost a mark is that in one or two spots characters look extremely similar. And - I realise this is unfair as it's part of the story - but I felt the Princess and the Frog is stupid. The princess is mean to the frog, yet magically falls in love when she finally kisses him. Why on earth would the prince want a girl who wanted to go back on her promises and who obviously didn't like ugly things? That's not a good choice of a character! At least the other princesses were less shallow.
You can find out more on Sally's website.
For a modern take on fairy tales, check out Abie Longstaff's The Fairytale Hairdresser and Cinderella.