11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2007
Gail Carson Levine is well-known for taking familiar fairy tales and weaving them with her own magic. THE FAIRY'S REUTRN AND OTHER PRINCESS TALES is no exception. In this collection of the six popular Princess Tales, Levine has rewritten six familiar (and some not-so-familiar) stories until they are virtually unrecognizable.
In THE FAIRY'S MISTAKE, which is based on the fairy tale "Toads and Diamonds," two very different sisters are each granted a gift by the fairy Ethelinda. Ethelinda feels that her gifts are both well-deserved, so it comes as a great surprise when she discovers that neither gift brought the results she had planned.
THE PRINCESS TEST, which is based on "The Princess and the Pea," tells the story of Lorelei, a blacksmith's daughter, and the prince who falls in love with her. However, the prince's father is determined that his son should marry a princess, so he designs a series of tests to ensure the bride's pedigree. Nicholas still wants to marry Lorelei, but how can she ever pass the tests if she's not a real princess?
PRINCESS SONORA AND THE LONG SLEEP is based on "Sleeping Beauty." As a baby, Princess Sonora is granted many gifts, each fairy trying to outdo the others and bestow the best gift. As a result, Sonora is a beautiful, precocious young child, and she decides to wait until the opportune moment to prick her finger, which will put the castle to sleep for one-hundred years, as promised by the fairy Belladonna. Her plan, however, doesn't exactly go as planned.
In CINDERELLIS AND THE GLASS HILL, which is based on "The Princess on the Glass Hill," Cinderellis is a lonely boy inventor who is ignored and made fun of by his brothers. Princess Marigold is equally lonely, and wishes she had someone to talk to other than her cat. When Marigold's father decides that it's time for her to marry, he puts her on a glass hill that suitors will have to climb, and it will take Cinderellis' best invention yet to win her hand.
FOR BIDDLE'S SAKE is based on "Puddocky," and tells the story of Parsley, a young girl who loves eating parsley. Unfortunately, the only place that parsley grows is in the garden of the fairy Bombina, who is in jail for turning too many people into toads. When Bombina is released and Parsley is accidentally turned into a toad, she must find a way to make the most of the situation, and maybe even help someone else along the way.
In THE FAIRY'S RETURN, which is based on "The Golden Goose," the fairy Ethelinda is back, and she's nervous about giving any more gifts. But when a baker's son and a princess fall in love and the king forbids their marriage, she just has to do something! So she hopes that everything goes well and gives the baker's son a golden goose.
All six of these stories were absolutely wonderful, full of humor, magic, and love. If you're a fan of Ella Enchanted (Trophy Newbery) or The Two Princesses of Bamarre, you definitely shouldn't miss this book!
Reviewed by: Andie Z.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2006
In this collection of short stories, Gail Carson Levine revisits the remarkable world in which ELLA ENCHANTED took place. Each fairy tale has a modern twist, in which Levine stands the old stories on their heads in fun, enchanting ways...
"THE FAIRY'S MISTAKE" is based on "Toads and Diamonds." The good fairy Ethelinda rewards a young girl for her generosity by making gems and stones drop from her mouth every time she speaks. Proud of a job well done, Ethelinda is shocked when her gift doesn't work out as she envisioned.
"THE PRINCESS TEST" is based on "The Princess and the Pea." Lorelei is a young maiden of a very delicate nature. To those who don't know better, she seems spoiled and lazy. When she captures the attention of a kind prince, things begin to happen.
"PRINCESS SONORA AND THE LONG SLEEP" is based on "Sleeping Beauty." As a month-old infant, Princess Sonora was "blessed" by fairies invited by her parents. She was made beautiful and remarkably intelligent. She was also curse to die after pricking her finger on a spindle. The curse is modified, but Sonora's other gifts may prove to be too much.
"CINDERELLIS AND THE GLASS HILL" is based on "The Princess on the Glass Hill." A young lad named Ellis (then renamed "Cinderellis" by his cruel brothers) loves to invent things. When the king sets up a challenge he can't resist, he'll need all his talents and generosity to pass the test.
"FOR BIDDLE'S SAKE" is based on "Puddocky." Parsley has a wonderful smile, despite teeth green from eating, well, parsley. Raised by a fairy who loves to turn people and things into toads, she has a unique view of things. So when she is accidentally turned into a toad, she uses her head to make the best of things, especially when a nice young prince needs help.
"THE FAIRY'S RETURN" is based on "The Golden Goose." Ethelinda is back, but she's afraid to make more mistakes. But she just has to do something to help the son of a baker when he earns a reward. After a bit of panic, she gives him a golden goose and prays nothing bad happens.
Each story is packed full of fairy-tale magic, laughter, and the requisite lessons (such as the importance of a kind heart). Fans of Levine's other work should pick this up today.
Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer
4½-Balloons for WUAT Kids!; 5-Stars for Amazon
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2008
Since I was young, I loved Gail Carson Levine. After watching too much of Disney, it was a refreshing look at romance and fairy tales. Told in a very contemporary, but also very conservative style, Levine never fails to evoke thought, emotion, and laughter. Her protagonists are quirky and charming and enchanting in every fashion, and her antagonists are disgusting and much-abhorred-- everything is black and white, just as a classic fairy tale would be!
Right now, I am fourteen, but whenever I'm too tired of reading Tolstoy or Dickens, I peruse my ol' book shelf and find Levine's princess tales! They are entertaining and fun and addictive-- especially to a romantic such as myself.
Oh, and it doesn't hurt the imagination to know that, in Levine's world, Cinderella is a boy! :)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2010
I read this book in high school because Levine's Ella Enchanted was one of my childhood favorites. These stories are fun, whimsical and easy to read. Many of them draw from familiar tales, but Levine twists them with her own magical touch. Young girls who like fairy tales are sure to enjoy this; I even enjoyed them as an older girl. I also think these would be great for reading aloud to younger children.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 21, 2008
My daughter begged for this for her birthday. She read it 5x from the library, and was thrilled to have her own copy. It has several fun stories from the author of Ella Enchanted (which she didn't like as much). She is an excellent reader (started reading Harry Potter soon after), and was able to read it at age 8, although it is intended for older girls.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2007
Our ten year old daughter received this book for Christmas and completed reading it in one day. She couldn't put it down! She loved the whimsical tales and is now reading Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg, also by Gail Carson Levine. This book was chosen by a group of 9 and 10 year olds in her book club! Young girls seem to just love Levine's style of writing!
on June 17, 2010
The Fairys Return has 6 beautiful fairtale retellings. Its hard to choose a favorite one. I really liked Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep its a retelling of Sleeping Beauty and in this tale she is not only beautiful but very intelligent. Then there is, "The Princess Test," which is a retelling of, "The Princess and the Pea." This so called princess is actually a peasent with very soft skin. I also like The Fairys Return But if you like fairytales or just girlish fantasys than this book is for you. Gail Carson Levine is my new favorite author although I didn't care too much for, "Fairest." It wasn't too much like Snow White. But if you liked Ella Enchanted and the Princesses of Bamarre read this you will love it!
on February 8, 2010
This a collection of fairy tales that are new versions of some classic stories including Sleeping Beauty, the Princess and the Frog, the Princess and the Pea, and the Golden Goose. Several are based on some less well known stories. I found it interesting to compare the classic versions to those included in the book. It is nice to see the protagonists all use their intelligence and wits to reach their goals. There are some fun twists as well- "Sleeping Beauty" knows about the curse and doesn't want the prince to kiss her. There is some clever wordplay to amuse adults and older children. For example, "Sleeping Beauty" is Princess Sonora. The tales are all well written and delightful to read.
on January 7, 2014
I got this book for a 10 year old and she loved it. It suits the age group well and is easy for her to read but also flows well and likes when I read to her. All the stories are great and she loves being able to pick out one or another depending on the night. If your daughter or other relation likes fairy tales and princesses this is a perfect book to get.
on November 1, 2013
This is probably my favorite book. I LOVE fairy tale retellings and Gail Carson Levine is the best author there is for those. This is the best purchase I have ever made, I cannot possibly count the number of times I've read this. Read this book, I promise you will LOVE it.