September 2013, Corgi, 32 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Themes: fairytale characters, sleeping beauty story
Content: some humour, endless amounts of cuteness, a tissue needed
Summary from Random House Children's Publishers
A wicked fairy has cast a spell sending Princess Rose into a deep sleep in this modern retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story. With the help of some fairy godmothers and a dashing, garden-designing prince, Kittie Lacey, the fairytale hairdresser, must break the spell.
I'm a huge fangirl of Abie and Lauren's joint work so this review is biased from the start. I adore this series (see suggested reads for the other books). It creates a modern yet timeless new version of well loved fairy tales. Having Kitty s the main character brings an exciting element to the plot. It saved me from groaning too long when I was worried Prince Florian would take over the story. I should have known better! He has a cute squirrel which goes pretty much everywhere with him. I like how he didn't just happen upon Rose, aka Sleeping Beauty, it was because of his occupation that he knew her.
I was impressed at how Abie worked the back story to Sleeping Beauty into the story: there's a double page spread which recounts it all, and looks like a story book from the story with a pretty border and a few pictures of Rose's tragic tale. I liked the direction the happily ever after took too.
I was equally wowed by Lauren's squeesomely cute and sweet illustrations. Her characters are mostly adorable (the bad ones aren't what I'd call cute), there's so much life and a real sense of movement and magic about her work. I'm a fairy fangirl (Winx...Tinkerbell...) and I squeed loudly in my head when I saw the fairies on the cover - they are even more adorable inside! They are so expressive. I liked Kitty's restyling, and had fallen i love with them all so much that, despite knowing what was coming next, tears formed as the fairies cried to Kitty about Rose's plight. That's how strongly I connect to Kitty and her new friends - seeing them heartbroken made me sad enough to cry. I did tear up at the end too - happy events make me cry over anything.
The fairies are dainty and all so different. They are tiny, but as Kitty journeys with them they show great bravery. I loved the blue and yellow fairies' dresses, and Rose's hair is very similar to another fairy I know-Roxy in Winx! Yes I suspect few reviewers relate books to anime...there is a similarity going on! Ahem. Rose gets swept off her feet by her Prince, who wasn't the one to save Rose a second time - that was down to Kitty who pulls a ninja fast move with something that I refuse to say as it will spoil the story. She is one talented hairdresser! There are a few more books in this series to come which is very squeesome to hear.
Read the rest of the series which started with The Fairytale Hairdresser: Or How Rapunzel Got Her Prince (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)