Once Upon a Marigold

Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
Once Upon a Marigold Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Delightfully offbeat fairytale full of surprises.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 12 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

The hero, Christian, throws the occasional tantrum when he is young and there is some fighting, however the majority of characters display positive behavior. The evil queen lives up to her name, but all negative actions receive the proper punishment.


Innocent people are dragged off to the dungeons. People are frequently banished from the kingdom. A man is punched by a giant. A woman plots to kill two people either through an accident or poison. There is mention of hunting animals for food.


Typical fairytale romance with several weddings.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults are shown drinking wine, typical for the time in which the story took place.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know this book has some classic fairytale situations including romance and an evil queen. There is talk of love, marriage, adoption, and murder by poison.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10-year-old Written byTheQuietestQuill November 10, 2015

My daughter didn't want to stop reading!

We chose Once Upon A Marigold as part of our fifth grade curriculum because it sounded fun and has won several awards and we haven't been disappointed.
T... Continue reading
Adult Written byAnimalFarm August 23, 2011

Dull, boring and unexciting.

This book is dull, boring and unexciting. It was one of three choices of compulsory summer reading for 7th graders, and while it was the lesser of the three evi... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old August 8, 2020

Pretty Good Book

I liked this book. It was very funny and interesting, and full of surprises. However, this book may be boring for some readers because its main focus is about l... Continue reading
Kid, 6 years old February 14, 2013

I didn't particularly llike this book that much, but i can see how it might be appealing to other readers. If i could, i would rate this book a 2 and a half out of 5!!!

Personally, i did not love this book. I see how it could be appealing to other character types, but for me, it lacked some excitement and individuality! I mean... Continue reading

What's the story?

Christian and Edric the troll's paths cross one day when Christian runs away from his uptight family. Determined never to go back, Christian makes Edric and his two dogs, Beezlebub and Hecate, his family. They live a good life until Christian falls in love with Princess Marigold and decides that he should see more of the world -- the world around Marigold's castle. When Christian discovers a plot against Marigold and her father, he enlists his family to help break out of prison, prevent Marigold's arranged marriage, foil Queen Olympia's murderous plot, reunite several families, and reveal his true and forgotten identity. Oh, and learn about Princess Marigold's curse, whew!

Is it any good?

Quirky characters, fun and unusual elements, and surprising plot twists make ONCE UPON A MARIGOLD a must read for tweens. Jean Ferris has created magic in this fun-spun fairytale. There's royalty and weddings, fashion and trolls, plots and action, a geography-challenged tooth fairy, and inventions, p-mails, triplets, crystals, and a sick ficus.

Ferris' plot may be more tangled than the tooth fairy's maps (which is why she's always lost), but it all comes together wonderfully in the end. And while part of it is predictable -- it's a fairytale after all -- the details of the conclusion are anything but. Kids and parents will love the modern twists and delight in the details Ferris uses to richly embroider this tale.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means to be a family. Do you need to be related to be a family? In what ways does Edric act like a parent toward Christian? Do you know someone that has a non-traditional family?

Book details

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