Magical Princess Stories by Margaret Mayo, Geraldine McCaughrean, Rose Impey, Andrew Matthews, Jane Ray, Ian Beck, Angela Barrett, Emma Chichester Clark and Alan Snow

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Magical Princess Stories by Margaret Mayo, Geraldine McCaughrean, Rose Impey, Andrew Matthews, Jane Ray, Ian Beck, Angela Barrett, Emma Chichester Clark and Alan Snow

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A perfect 'present' book of seven beautifully illustrated fairy tales about princesses.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 112 Date: October 2009
Publisher: Orchard
ISBN: 978-1408305164

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Most little girls would love a pretty pink book all about princesses, wouldn't they? This one has seven retellings of traditional fairy tales accompanied by beautiful illustrations and would make a lovely gift for a birthday or Christmas.

The illustrations in this book really are lovely. I especially like the frog in The Naughty Princess and the Frog story, drawn by Emma Chichester Clark as he has a cute, cheeky look about him. I don't think I'd have kicked up such a fuss about giving him a little kiss...but then, I'm a grown up so I knew he was going to turn into a handsome prince in the end! All the styles of drawing are very different so there's something for everyone from intricate, ornate and more traditional pictures to funny little cartoon-y ones. It helps to differentiate the different writing styles for each story, and makes it a special collection to read and re-read.

The stories themselves are fairly easy to read. They're each a good length for a bedtime story, or I expect confident 8 to 10 year-olds could manage by themselves. I haven't read any fairy tales for many years, so I found myself eagerly turning each page to find out what would happen next. Geraldine McCaughrean makes a great start with the traditional The Sleeping Beauty and then we come to The Naughty Princess and the Frog which is a fun little story, although I personally wonder why the prince is so eager to marry the princess once the froggy spell is broken? She's so horrible to him whilst he's a frog...he's evidently a very forgiving man. (You can tell I took these to heart, can't you?!)

Snow White is more of a dunce than I remembered. Can she honestly not tell that the wicked Queen is dressing up to try and kill her each time? Still, I loved the cute little dwarfs, and I enjoyed the ending where the wicked Queen is made to wear red hot iron slippers in which she must dance until she's dead. Fabulous retribution!

The Lemon Princess was a tale I didn't already know, and this time we have a Prince who is a bit of a ninny and unable to follow simple instructions. Still, despite multiple set backs he manages the requisite happy ending, which is something we don't get in The Little Mermaid...no Disney alterations here. Alan Snow's quirky illustrations are wonderful for this story and I especially liked the sea witch's conical shell bra.

The final two stories in the collection are Swan Lake (sumptuous, traditional illustrations) and The Twelve Dancing Princesses which was well told, although I would've liked an explanation as to why the princesses went out dancing every night - were they being naughty and rebelling? Or were they just dance crazy? Or were they under some kind of spell that made them leave every night to dance? Still, it's a fun story and I like that it ends with every one's shoes falling apart from so much dancing.

So, princess-mad girls will love this collection, and it's well written and illustrated so won't be a chore for the parents to read either.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

For some newer fairy tales try Joan Aiken's book or you might want to take a look at The Bookbag's Top Ten Retellings of Myths, Legends and Fairy Tales.

Buy Magical Princess Stories by Margaret Mayo, Geraldine McCaughrean, Rose Impey, Andrew Matthews, Jane Ray, Ian Beck, Angela Barrett, Emma Chichester Clark and Alan Snow at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Magical Princess Stories by Margaret Mayo, Geraldine McCaughrean, Rose Impey, Andrew Matthews, Jane Ray, Ian Beck, Angela Barrett, Emma Chichester Clark and Alan Snow at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Magical Princess Stories by Margaret Mayo, Geraldine McCaughrean, Rose Impey, Andrew Matthews, Jane Ray, Ian Beck, Angela Barrett, Emma Chichester Clark and Alan Snow at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Magical Princess Stories by Margaret Mayo, Geraldine McCaughrean, Rose Impey, Andrew Matthews, Jane Ray, Ian Beck, Angela Barrett, Emma Chichester Clark and Alan Snow at Amazon.com.


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