Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Usborne Princess Stories box set (Children's, 5 years +, 10E/10E)

August 2013, Usborne, 5 books each with 48 pages, Hardbacks, Review copy

Themes: princes, princesses, gentleness, selfishness, being spoilt, promises, fairies, castles, magic,
Content: Loads of humour

Summary from Usborne

Five enchanting princess story books in a beautifully designed gift box, specially produced to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Usborne Publishing in 2013.

Includes Cinderella, The Princess and the Pea, Sleeping Beauty, The Twelve Dancing Princesses and The Frog Prince.

Each hardback book is colourfully illustrated and has a ribbon page marker. All titles are taken from the Usborne Reading Programme.

Nayuleska's thoughts 
Now, when I opened up the books I had a minor panic. I'd recently read Royal Fairy Tales for Bedtime, also by Usborne and expected the stories in there to be the same as this collection. I was delighted to find they weren't! I've never read such humorous versions of these fairy tales - the speech bubbles and the pictures add another element of magic to the already amazing stories.

There's a ribbon on each book to mark the next page to read-each book has a slightly different colour of pink and purple. Plus at the end of the story the origin of the story is explained, along with which version this particular retelling uses. Here's what I think of each of them.

The Frog Prince: Princess Poppy is a little madam, and the frog certainly livens up her life.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses: This is the first version of this tale where I don't think the princesses are stupid for dancing the night away. Their father is a tyrant! I adore the youngest princess.

Sleeping Beauty: Another first for me - never had a frog feature in Sleeping Beauty - never! It had me falling about laughing. Plus the fairies look how I imagine to look- one even looks like Flora from one of my favourite anime Winx - look! 
Note the green and pink colour combination & the style of the skirt part.
Taken from online search, flora in a fight (she doesn't usually frown...)

Similar colour and style skirts! Books connect readers to the stories, but also to other similar things, like my favourite fairy anime, Winx! 

The Princess and the Pea: As one of my favourite fair tales I was super eager to see what this one was like. Boy, it's an awesome retelling! I've never seen a retelling like it. The search for the perfect princess left me laughing one moment and staring with my mouth open at the next. Truly magical.

Cinderella: I saved this book until last in the review because this Cinderella stole my heart. It's a retelling that I'm familiar with,  but the illustrations are breathtaking. Just look at her. 
Photo of illustration take by myself
For all the reasons stated this collection is a superb set for anyone who loves fairy tales. If you think you've read them and they are all the same then prepared to be surprised!

Suggested read
For more fairy tales check out the already mentioned Royal Fairy Tales for Bedtime (Children's, Picture books, 10E/10E

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