The Wide-Awake Princess by E D Baker

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The Wide-Awake Princess by E D Baker

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: An unusual, fun version of the familiar Sleeping Beauty story - perfect for tweens who aren't quire willing to give up fairy tales just yet...
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: May 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing plc
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1408807576

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Princess Annie is Sleeping Beauty's younger sister. Her sister, Gwendolyn, was given various magical gifts at her birth making her graceful and beautiful, but then a bad fairy created the spell that Gwendolyn would prick her finger on a spinning wheel before she turned 16 and sleep for one hundred years. So far, so familiar. All of the upset over Gwendolyn's christening led to the King and Queen being very scared when their second daughter, Annabelle, was born. They invited only one fairy along and asked her advice. She cast a spell on Princess Annie that made her impervious to all magic. Although this seemed like a good idea it means that none of her family like to be too near her because her spell tends to affect their own magical enchantments, making them less beautiful, more wrinkled and aged. Annie does her best to please her parents and to try and protect her sister, but in the end the wicked fairy's magic spell comes true and Gwendolyn and everyone in the castle falls asleep. Everyone, that is, except for Annie...

I really liked the twist in the way this fairytale is told, using Sleeping Beauty's younger sister as the heroine. There are other fairy tales woven into the book too, all playing well off each other. I particularly liked the inclusion of the Rapunzel story, only this Rapunzel seems to have a different prince climbing up her hair every day...! Annie herself is a very capable young woman, strong and confident and a good role model.

There are some funny moments in the book, but it wasn't as humorous as I'd expected from the cartoon-style cover picture. But it's well written and I found the characters very likeable. I wanted to see how Annie would fare in waking up her sister, and how long it would take her to realise who exactly was accompanying her on her quest and what she felt about him.

The book makes fairy tales seem a little bit more grown up, with the twists on the familiar tales and the romance storyline for Princess Annie. It's certainly not all lovey-dovey though, and there's lots of action too as Annie struggles to find the prince who might be able to save her sister. This is a great story for in-between girls, those who feel they've grown out of their Disney Princess pyjamas, but they're as yet unwilling to give up on fairy tales completely.

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

Further reading suggestion: Readers may also enjoy The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale.

Buy The Wide-Awake Princess by E D Baker at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Wide-Awake Princess by E D Baker at

Buy The Wide-Awake Princess by E D Baker at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Wide-Awake Princess by E D Baker at


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