Archive for the ‘Fairy Tale’ Category
I recently read Once Upon A Marigold by Jean Ferris. This is a semi sweet novel which emphasizes that love will always find a way. I also liked that twists and turns were added to a normal fairy tale plot.
We have Christian, a slightly odd inventor. For starters, he lives with his foster-father, a troll. He lives in a cave along with his two dogs. Did I mention that the dogs can”sing”. One day he finds a telescope near his home. Upon figuring out how to use it, he spies on the princess of the kingdom, Marigold. He falls in love with her. He decides that he will work as a servant in the castle so that he can be closer to her.
Let me introduce, two of Marigold’s suitors – Prince Cyprain and Sir Magnus. Sir Magnus is pretty much a ”normal” guy with the Sir title in front of his name. Characteristics which would describe Sir Magnus could be wimpy and useless guy. Prince Cyprain, on the other hand, has to be in the center of attention. Marigold realizes these gentlemen are not for her plans to reject them.
One day, while cleaning the Queen’s chambers, Christian overhears the Queen plotting to eliminate Marigold and Marigold’s father so she can have the throne all to herself. Christian rushes to tell Marigold but is too late the queen just announced that Marigold and Sir Magnus are engaged!! Marigold is outraged at first. However, she gets over it as she realizes that if she marries Sir Magnus, she will get to stay with her Father.
Christian discover that he is a prince. This happens when one of the guards calls him a murderer … because the necklace that he has had since his childhood is the royal crest and only the royals in that kingdom can wear it. So on the day of the wedding, Christian crashes it and announces the he is a Prince and marries Marigold. I enjoyed this book because Jean Ferris really made a good book with a tablespoon of ingenuity. That’s what people want in a book.
In this book, Ms. Cass used beautifully illustrated words to capture the your attention. As a reader, you kept wondering how we reached this point in the story just as the next evolution was evolving. You kept desperately trying to find an answer.
This book takes place in the future, around 2040. There has been a World War III. People live in castles or ranks depending on how rich or famous you are. America, the main character, is a five and her heart-throb, Aspen, is a six. The two are secretly dating. They knew they must keep it a secret because if America’s Mother found out she would be furious (and, if her Mother is like my Mother, that would not be a pretty site). America used her talent playing the piano, flute and violin to make money for the family.
One day America gets a letter from the Royal Palace requesting that she compete (along with 36 other girls) to become Price Maxon’s bride. Winning this competition would make them a princess … the future queen. At first, America says “no” because of Aspen. However, Aspen ends the relationship so America changes her mind.
On the day American leaves, she sees Aspen with another girl becomes heart-broken. When she arrives at the Palace she is overwhelmed by how big it is. The next day she meets the Prince and discovers he is not at all what she had expected. She thought he would be stuck up and shallow but he was far from that. Their relationship blooms and they soon become close friends.
I enjoyed this book because this girl is torn between Aspen and Maxon. There are times in my life when I am torn between two things and I must make a decision. One thing I didn’t like was the fact that a lot of the words were hard to pronounce and I had to reread them a couple of times to get it right. One of the morals of this book would be don’t judge a person by their rank or demeanor because Maxon was not at all what American thought he would be. That is the issue nowadays because people are mean to other people just because of what they look like in other people’s minds.
Fellow tween readers … If you like fairy tales with a bit of humor, realization, and reality, this is the book is for you! Ms. Lundquist did a perfect job of adding those qualities to her book. It was those secret ingredients that makes the ordinary dish delicious, stand out in its own exceptional way. As to my followers, you know I tend to read a lot of fairy tales with this concept. Maybe it is just because I can connect with the main character, but this book left me on a completely different level of thought.
Callie Meadow Anderson is a typical, shy-girl trying to find her way though middle school (just like ME). She does not even compare to her best friend Ellen who, unlike Callie, is beautiful, popular, and makes boys swoon. Or, at least, that’s how Callie sees it. One day Callie has a hard time reading papers in class so a day later she goes to an eye doctor where she discovers that she will glasses. The list of orders is backed up so Callie’s eye doctor lends her a pair of thick glasses with an ugly old style frame.
On the first day with the glasses, Callie discovers that they can read minds! She discovers her best friend underestimates her, some people think she is stuck up, and others think she is a total loser! As Callie goes into her drama class, she sees her friend with a beautiful and popular girl … almost as if Ellen has replaced her. Soon enough Callie’s theory is true she has been replaced. Ellen doesn’t do anything with Callie anymore - no hanging out, not even calling on a regular basis! This new girl, Stacy, is beginning to make Callie very envious.
Stacy and Ellen decide that they will attend the Halloween dance at their school. They decide to invite; however, Callie realizes that they only invited her because they thought she would decline the offer. That REALLY hurt her feelings. But Callie realizes she must move on. She signs up for a school performance and gets the lead! On the night of the play Callie discovers that Charlie really did like her and that he thought she was cute and they become boyfriend and girlfriend. Callie learns that she should not look into people’s’ thoughts so she starts to use her glasses only to reading … finally gets a more stylish pair.
I enjoyed the book because, I know that I have said this before, but I felt like I could fully relate with Callie. I love to write stories just like her (even though I at times complain about blogging). I also enjoyed the book because of that touch of humor that could take you from happy to gloomy and right back to happy. I love this book!!!
I thought this was a spectacular book caught somewhere between “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Twelve Darling Princesses”. The Princess Curse was full of mystery and tricks which left me taking the book anywhere my parents allowed (and also getting up in the middle of the night to read)!
The book is about Reveka, a herbalist apprentice. It is her dream to become a kingdom known as herbalists but she is very poor. Once day, she gets an idea…she hears that the princesses in her kingdom are suffering from a puzzling curse and there is a HUGE reward…if she can solve/cure the princesses she would have enough money to become a master herbalist. While on her mission, Reveka meets Dindina, a worker at the palace who givers her a paper holding the ingredients that create invisibility to anyone wo wears the cape (so you know, of course, Reveka creates this cape).
One night, Reveka follows the princesses in the land of Thonos where they dance with a zema (a dragon). It is there and then that her father is taken prisoner and Reveka knows that she would do anything asked of her to make sure he was safe. She is told she has to eat five pomegranate seeds and say that she will return to Thonos to stay.
I really enjoyed this book. I admit it, I LOVE fairy tales because anything can happen. I also happen to really enjoy reading about mythology and this book had a bit of that (Thonos is part of the underworld). The origin of myths date back to the Greeks and Romans who assumed dead souls are guided by Hermes, God of Trickery)…and that is where the princess go. I believe the moral of The Princess Curse is that we need to be able to sacrifice yourself for the good of the greater others. Here Reveka sacrified herself to save the princesses and her father. Makes you wonder … what it would take for you to do that?!?
Well, Halloween was recently here so I picked a book that I thought would help set the mood for the holiday…The Witches. And you know what – this book was HILARIOUS. It was a “brew” of fantasy and old-fashioned novelties! It was a very quick read…you should make a point to have a chuckle…
The book is about a boy (sadly, we do not learn his name…he is the narrator) who lives with his grandmother (both of his parents were killed in a car accident). In the beginning, we enter the story to hear the conversation the boy and his grandmother are having about witches. Soon after, the grandmother gets pneumonia, and they cannot go on their annual summer trip. It is decided that they still need to get away so they go to a local hotel, but the boy gets tricked by a witch and turns into a mouse. After his grandmother gets done freaking out (which, by the way I am used to seeing as MY MOM freaks out frequently), she comes up with a plan. The witch mentioned her room was the one underneath their room. The boy/mouse scurries to her room to retrieve her formula. While in the witch’s room, the boy/mouse decides that when everyone is eating their dinner he will put the mouse potion (the one that turned him into the mouse) into all of the witches’ soup bowls. He knows that he will be the hero because once the witches all turn into mice, he will kill them all in mouse traps.
One of the reasons I enjoyed The Witches was because I love fairy tales (not necessarily the Disney Princess type of fairy tales) and magic. Now I don’t always admit that I love fairy tale books but sometimes it is a nice break to step back and let the magic take over. It is as if I am taking a “reality break.”
I thought Ms. Hale created a lovely book. The Princess Academy was a bit of a fairy tale yet it was practical. I know that sounds a bit confusing but I will explain…
It begins in a little town called Mount Eskel with the girl named Miri. One day there is a royal announcement - all girls from the ages of 13 to 19 had attend the Academy for one year. The Academy was to teach poise, manners, dance, how to have a good conversation with others, and discipline [these are all good, practical life lessons for us all to know].
After a year at the Academy, the girls would have the chance to meet the Prince Steffan and he would pick his bride. Miri wanted to refuse because she did not want to live in a castle and be pampered for the rest of her life. Miri wanted to work in the quarry, just like her family did. (In the quarry, the family dug linder to make money).
One of the most important things Miri learns while at the Academy is that her family and friends are being cheated. Her family gets paid only three silver coins for their linder when they should be receiving one gold coin (four silver coins equals one-quarter of a one gold coin). Miri goes home and tells her family and friends that they are not being paid appropriately and they come up with a plan. What they are going to do is that the girls are going to confront Steffan that they know they are not being paid fairly. When Steffan is confronted he does not seem to care. The the girls then decide that no one wants to be his bride since he does not seem to care about his country or his people.
The only issue I had with this book was that a couple of times the story was moving so fast, that I had to reread the pages more than once so that I could fully understand what was taking place. One of the things I liked most about this book was the good vocabulary words used. The words were not too hard for me to understand yet there were a few times I was a bit challenged. I especially liked that, most of the time, I could easily envision the story in my mind as the words were before my eyes.
The moral of this book was that even though you do not know what you are getting or what you want, you need to try your best. Even though Miri did not want to be at the Academy she still tried her best. Like Miri I will try to do my best. Sometimes it will be hard, but I know that is really what I need to do.
Dragon’s Kiss is the seventh book in The Tales of the Frog Princess series. I strongly recommend this series for readers who enjoy fairy tales with gigantic twists (and I am one of those people). I have previously read all of the books and for the most part, enjoyed them all. I was very excited when the library finally had this one back on the shelf.
In the conclusion to this series, Audun (a snow dragon) attempts to become human so that he can marry Millie. Millie is a human princess who turns into a dragon when she becomes angry. (In real life, I believe I have seen a dragon…when my mom becomes angry, I swear you can see steam coming out of her ears!)
Audun participates in several adventures in order to please King Stormclaw (dragon king of the icy north) so that the king will give him a “ring” which will give him the ability to human. We are now introduced to Prince Rudolfo who attacks Millie’s kingdom when she refuses to marry him. Audun proves his worthiness to Millie’s family and kingdom when he helps them during the attacks. Millie and Audun kiss and live happily ever after.
I believe that this book was telling and showing us that with love you find strength (Audon kept saying “it’s for Millie” when he was in tough situations). I really like happy endings.