1st November 2013, Usborne, 96 pages, Hardback, Review copy
Summary from Usborne
A regal collection of much-loved classics and some less familiar tales, perfect for reading aloud and sharing at bedtime.
Includes favourites such as The Frog Prince, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Sleeping Beauty amongst many more.
Full of magic and enchanting illustrations that little princes and princesses will love to pore over.
A lovely gift to be shared together time and time again.
This book is utterly delightful! There's a purple ribbon to match the purple strip on the cover so the place can be kept for the next night's reading (although it can be read at any time of day). The illustrations are vibrant, warming, and totally suit the characters. I very much wanted to wear most of the dresses! I liked how each story started on a double page spread; the left hand page had a simple coloured background, then an image of the main character in an oval frame, like a portrait; and the right hand page had the first few lines of the story, with a border of leaves which also had a few items specific to each story, so none of them was exactly the same.
Here are the stories that are retold and my thoughts on them.
The Princess and the Pea: One of my favourite fairy tales, the illustration of the princess in the bed piled high with mattress was drawn so cleverly that I had a touch of vertigo looking down at the floor - I made sure I kept my eyes firmly on the cute looking toys (don't usually see toys on the princess's bed so this was a great retelling!
The Frog Prince: I nearly didn't read this because the Disney animated version terrified me, but I did read it and it's awesome! The frog is hilarious - the princess needs to be taken down several notches for her rude behaviour. He looks a little like Japanese anime style frogs which I'm quite taken with.
The Emperor's New Clothes: I totally skipped this story as I hate the original and I've hated every retelling. The story is stupid! (In my opinion) Plus it doesn't have a princess in so I'm not all that interested...
The Twelve Dancing Princesses: A fab retelling, although as usual I'm stumped as to why the princesses did what they did - didn't they realise they have an obligation to their kingdom to get a good night's sleep? Idiots.
Sleeping Beauty: A classic that is beautifuly no matter how many times I read it. And the best thing? The evil fairy/witch wasn't too scary!
The Emperor and the Nightingale: Now, I knew I'd read this story long ago, but I couldn't remember any of the details, so was totally absorbed by the selfish Emperor and the clever little nightingale.
The Firebird: I don't think I'd heard of this story before - it was full of excitement and danger!
The Snow Queen: Mega squee! This is one of my favourite fairy tales - I love one of the dramatised versions. This version was heavily condensed as it had to be for the length of story, but it got all the important elements in without feeling as though details were missing.
The Flying Horse: This story was very new to me, and I liked the prince's intelligence ever so much. He'll make a fine ruler.
As you can see there is lots of food for the imagination in this book - readers will definitely read it more than once!
For more fairy tales including The Princess and the Pea check out Read It Yourself With Ladybird: Princess Reviews and Q&A (Children's, picture book, 10E/10E)