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Melisande Paperback – April 7, 1999


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (April 7, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763607177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763607173
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 8.6 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,550,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With elements of Rapunzel crossed with Gulliver's Travels, the story of Melisande features a princess, cursed with baldness by a bad fairy, who gets her wish to grow lots of hairAwith a vengeance. Ages 5-up.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Melisande is a wonderful combination of traditional fairytale and mathematic logic. It is a favorite of family, both children and adults. We are all very excited that it has finally been reprinted! Children and adults alike will note the allusions to Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel, and will enjoy the humorous trials the princess must go through before the spell is broken and she finally gets to marry the prince. As in all E. Nesbit's books, logic, and the unexpected things that happen when people don't think logically, play an important role in the plot.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
From one irritated, uninvited guest comes the gift of baldness. From one poorly worded wish comes out of control hair. Add one prince determined to find the solution. Mix in Melisande's need to rescue her island home. How does it turn out? It adds up to an enchanting tale that delights both young and old. I've used the book in elementary classes as well as college classes--both were mesmerized.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 1999
Format: Turtleback
This is an excellent book. I have used it for medieval, folk/fairy tale, multiplication, critical thinking, and role playing studies. It is also just a wonderful story for read aloud at home or school. The illustrations are just beautiful.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
I first found this book in second grade at our school library. Now almost ten years later I still check it out from the public library at least 2-3 times a year! Melisande is amazing in the way she thought of her people first, and the Prince has brains. Her parents meant well and almost made it around that problem of forgetting to invite someone to the party. Unfotunately they end up proving that you can't make everyone happy. This book is well worth anyones time!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Trent Dougherty on July 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A century-old thoughtful twist on the fairy tale genre by a classic Children's writer (would love to see reviews of some of her other works). Melisande is a princess subject to the usual misfortune: a wicked fairy not invited to the christening casts an evil spell on her--"The Princess shall be bald." Not to worry the King has a wish he was given by his fairy godmother locked in his safe, the Princess may use it however she wishes when she comes of age. At that point, the Queen says,
"Dearest, for my sake, wish what I tell you to." "Why, of course I will," said Melisande. The Queen whispered in her ear, and Melisande nodded. Then she said, "I wish I had golden hair a yard long, and that it would grow an inch every day, and grow twice as fast every time it was cut..."
"Stop!" cried the King..."You've done about enough." For he had a mathematical mind and could do the sums about the grains of wheat on the chessboard...
You can imagine what happens next. According to the formula, they promise the Princess's hand in marriage to the Prince who can solve this problem. One unfortunate attempt leaves her growing into a giant a la Alice in Wonderland. The final solution is very clever and I won't spoil it for you. There is a great deal of humor throughout and it is illustrated very well, though I'm not an uberfan of Lynch's caricatures.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
...Nesbit writes beautifully and is clever and unpredictable enough that without going over the kids' heads, the reading adult can enjoy it too. The illustrations are excellent; I just wish the hardcover version was available!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
This delightful "modern" fairy tale describes the trials of a royal family beset with too many traditions from "historical" fairy tales. Combine precedents from every fairy tale you have ever read, and you have "Melisande."
Starting with her christening, Melisande is the princess child cursed by not only fairies, but the too-literal rendition of a counter-spell. Her woes go from being hair-less to having an over-abundance. Of course, the necessary princes are called in to solve the problem. Logic and love rule the day, but oh, what fun! Nesbit is always delightful, but I think this is one of her best.
I discovered this book in hard cover several years ago at an overstock outlet, and bought one copy. After reading it to family members, they started looking for their own copy; only to find the book had become a sleeper hit. Copies have been UNAVAILABLE, or high-priced for quite a while; it is delightful this publisher saw fit to print another edition, even if it is "just" paperback. Illustrations for this tale are equally well done; this is a don't miss for the fairy tale lover, children's book lover, or lover of good stories. I shall probably buy several copies myself, if only to save my hardbook copy from abuse!
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