By Patricia Tauzer,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Fairytale too raucous and silly for sleepy time.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that they will appreciate the humor and the artwork in this twisted fairytale, and older kids, especially those familiar with the Sleeping Beauty story, will get the silly jokes. However, some of the language, and even some of the twists, may seem too strange to be understood by the preschool set.
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What's the Story?
The story is a take-off on Sleeping Beauty: a princess is born, a christening party is held, good wishes as well as one serious curse are bestowed on the innocent child ... and as the narrator frog says: "Yada yada, hippity-hop!" Original twists and misheard words make this a silly story complete with a pie wagon, a snoring dragon, and the heroic Prince Quince.
Is It Any Good?
From the eccentric fairies to the lush, red lips of the snoring hot pink and purple dragon, this book is fun and will do anything but put you to sleep!
The narrator is a large green sarcastic frog dressed in a purple cape and looking like the Phantom of the Opera. The King is named Gluteus, the Queen Esophagus, and the newborn baby christened Princess Drachmina Lofresca Malvolio Margarine. And the original names and unique characters don't stop there. Several fairies also fill in the scene, including Tintinnitus, who doesn't hear well; Fleabitis, who can't help but show his red polka-dotted undershorts; the burly Fred, a fairy wannabe; and Beebo, the slighted, really cranky curse-wielder. What's not to like?
The narrator sounds at times like he has snagged his lines from a Sam Spade detective novel. And, overall, the clever and silly language of the story begs to be read aloud. With all its snoring, snorting, and "ALLA-BAMS!" the more dramatic the voice, the better. The watercolors that fill the pages only add to the noise and merriment.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the wonderful illustrations and the silly fairy characters. They can also read aloud the more dramatic sections of the story and compare this version to the classic Sleeping Beauty. Also, what ways does Tintinnitus, a fairy who doesn't hear well, misinterpret what others in the story say?
- Author: Bruce Hale
- Illustrator: Howard Fine
- Genre: Fairy Tale
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Harcourt
- Publication date: May 1, 2008
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 5 - 7
- Number of pages: 44
- Last updated: March 4, 2020
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