Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Book Review: Sleeping Cinderella and Other Princess Mix-ups

I wrote about Sleeping Cinderella and Other Princess Mix-ups by Stephanie Clarkson (Author), Brigette Barrager (Illustrator) a few weeks ago, providing my usual short, new book release type of post.

Then last week I bought the book and took it to share with my five-year-old niece, Kensie. She, like so many of her peers, is Disney obsessed, although her interest is much more intense and lasting longer than most of the girls in my life. She is a PRINCESS. And will be a QUEEN. And will hopefully grow out of wanting to have her name legally changed to Elsa. Yikes.

So I pulled out the book and told her I needed help learning if it was a fun book. She picked it up and immediately turned to the back cover where she quickly identified the four princesses accurately. While they do not much resemble the Disney iterations, there were plenty of visual clues for Kensie to identify them although I also wonder if she also recognized the names printed underneath since she is also learning to read pretty quickly now.

The quick version of this review is that Kensie liked the book and wanted it to be read to her again that evening. A common request from kids but Kensie does that less and less now unless she really likes a book. So she gives it a solid thumbs up. As the person who read it to her, I give it a thumbs up, too.

First of all, the humor does rely on knowing the familiar tales of the four princess involved, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. For they get fed up with their own stories and swap places with each other. The story, being short, offers more cause and effect than long exposition on what happens in each of their swapped lives. It is fun though. And some of the endings will warm a feminist mother's heart, too, without being preachy about it. Chores are divided, boundaries are drawn, and Cinderella goes off to college, the biggest departure from the traditional ending.

My favorite lines were from Rapunzel when Cinderella returns:

Cinderella ran home, up hill and down slope,
and found Rapunzel at the end of her rope.
"I've lost a glass shoe and your sisters are rude.
I was riding in style till your coach turned to food!"

That one especially made me smile. So a fun book and a great companion book to Leah Wilcox's Falling for Rapunzel which Kensie was adoring around Christmas for its humor.

I am not sure of a UK release date, there isn't one listed so far at Sleeping Cinderella and Other Princess Mix-Ups (UK Link).

Book description:

Princesses Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Rapunzel swap fairy tales with one another in this hilariously clever new classic!

Once upon a time, four fairy tale misses,
tired of dwarves, witches, princes, and kisses,
so bored and fed up, or just ready to flop,
upped and left home for a fairy tale swap.

What happens when Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Rapunzel get so fed up with their fairy tales that they decide to switch places with one another? Hilarity ensues in this clever, rhyming story about whether the grass really is greener at someone else's castle.

Author Stephanie Clarkson crafts an incredibly witty manuscript, with rhymes that shine and predicaments that will make little girls everywhere laugh out loud, as illustrator Brigette Barrager brings these beautiful princesses to life with her rich, warm colors and charming retro-girl style!

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