Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Fairytale Hairdresser and Sleeping Beauty by Abie Longstaff and Lauren Beard (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)

 September 2013, Corgi, 32 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Themes: fairytale characters, sleeping beauty story

Content: some humour, endless amounts of cuteness, a tissue needed

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.

Nayuleska's thoughts
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.

Find out more on Abie's website and  Lauren's website.

Suggested read
Read the rest of the series which started with The Fairytale Hairdresser: Or How Rapunzel Got Her Prince (Children's,  Picture book, 10E/10E)

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