From School Library Journal
Grade 3-6-Two novellas that are grounded in well-known tales and set in the magical kingdom of Biddle. The Fairy's Mistake is a play on "Toads and Diamonds," a story from Perrault about gifts given by a witch to two sisters, one kind and the other unkind. The Princess Test is based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Princess and the Pea." Illustrated with full-page pen-and-ink drawings, both retellings are delightfully lighthearted, with little doubt that good will ultimately triumph over evil. There is a rich use of language and spirited characters, especially the females. Although "The Princess Tales" lack the complexity of plot and fantastical invention found in Levine's Ella Enchanted (HarperCollins, 1997), they make a nice addition to the genre of novels based on and yet departing from traditional tales. Although their short length and sly humor would make the books appeal to reluctant readers, the difficult font makes it hard to recommend them to that audience.Carol A. Edwards, Sonoma County Library, Santa Rosa, CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
PLB 0-06-028061-1 This hand-sized volume features delicate black-and-white line drawings that are very much in keeping with the tone of many fairy tales, but those familiar with Levine's Ella Enchanted will wisely expect, and be gratified by, the sly and unexpected foolery of this story and its companion, The Princess Test (0-06-028062-X; PLB 0-06-028063-8). In The Fairy's Mistake, Ethelinda is horrified to discover that her fairy blessing on the kind Rosella, that jewels fall from her mouth when she speaks, is being exploited by her greedy new husband, Prince Harold. Her curse on Rosella's sister, Myrtle, who drops slimy and creepy things from her mouth when she speaks, is also going awry; Myrtle uses this to get whatever she wants from people. The Princess Test takes on Lorelei's ability to feel a pea under 20 mattresses: this young thing is a great trial to her family as she is allergic to, or injures herself with, almost every household item she touches. Genuinely delightful and funny, both tales are set in the village of Snettering-on-Snoakes in the Kingdom of Biddle, a place readers will want to visit again. (Fiction. 7-12) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.