Book Review: The Princess Games

The Princess Games by Danai  Kadzere
The Princess Games
by Danai Kadzere (Goodreads Author)

3 out of 5 stars

Emma and Laralyn are two peasant girls, one beautiful and one plain. When the King and Queen decide to adopt a Princess, the girls become contestants in the Princess Games to win a place in the royal family. Emma is sturdy, clever, and hard-working. She only cares about the food. Laralyn is dainty, demure, and determined to win. She only cares about pleasing her money-loving mother. How can they compete with the dozens of other girls who all want to be the new Princess?
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Book Review: The Ravenous Gown

The Ravenous Gown by Steffani Raff
The Ravenous Gown: And 14 More Tales about Real Beauty
by Steffani Raff (Goodreads Author)

5 out of 5 stars


These fairy tales focus on daring young men and women who want to be appreciated for their personality, virtues, and inner qualities rather than outward beauty. They battle dragons, fight wars, defeat evil sorcerers, and unravel magic in order to find their true identity and inspire their kingdom.

I loved that these fairy tales use all the old tropes about dragons and knights and fair maidens, and then turn everything upside down and surprise you with the plot twists when the maiden saves herself.
Each fairy tale is short but powerful with meaningful messages of hope and acceptance. Continue reading

Book Review: The Everything Princess Book

The Everything Princess Book by Barbara Beery
The Everything Princess Book: 101 Crafts, Recipes, Stories, Hairstyles, and More!
by Barbara Beery, David Miles, Brooke Jorden, Michele Robbins, Rebecca Sorge 

5 out of 5 stars

This book begins with several fairy tales about princesses, including Thumbelina, Princess Savitri, and Princess Kaguya. The next chapter has royal recipes and instructions for organizing a tea party, a royal ball, or a cottage picnic. There is also a chapter with princess games and activities, and another with crafts for making your own tiara, princess sandals, necklaces, and fancy invitations.

The chapter on “Princess Practices” goes over courtesy and manners including the proper way to set a table, how to curtsy and have proper posture, as well as lessons in horsemanship, music, penmanship, art, fencing, and how to deal with enchantments and poison apples. You will also learn how to say hello in different languages, how to do the princess wave, and be sincerely friendly when meeting foreign dignitaries.

My favorite chapter was the one about “Being a True Princess” with lessons and examples for Kindness, Courage, Gratitude, Honesty, Intelligence, Sensitivity, Forgiving, and Inner Beauty. This chapter asks thoughtful questions and encourages the reader to take action in their own lives and share kindness with others.
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Book Review: A Bag of Moonshine

A Bag Of Moonshine by Alan Garner
A Bag Of Moonshine
by Alan Garner

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


I loved this collection of fairy tales, rewritten from the folklore of England and Wales. The author has an uncanny ability to mimic the story-telling style of old folk tales, with whimsy and ingenuity.

The black and white illustrations add to the ghoulish atmosphere of the tales, and they are true to the art style I see in so many old fairy tale books from the late 1800s.

The enchantment of these stories lies in the excellent word-craft, and the weird and eccentric characters who populate the world of magic and mayhem. Full of changlings, witches, ogres who spin gold, and the clever youngest brother named Jack, these stories captivate the reader with the magnetic words and witty narrative style.

Fairy Tale Retelling Book Tag

 

What’s your favorite fairy tale? Leave me a comment!

Brunette Bibliophile’s Original Video: https://youtu.be/2oIAGwq7MQ0

QUESTIONS:

1.What is your favorite fairy tale?

2.What is your favorite retelling of that story? Continue reading

Book Review: Red Riding Hood

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
Red Riding Hood 
by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright (Goodreads Author)David Leslie JohnsonCatherine Hardwicke (Introduction by)
1 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Valerie’s sister is killed by the horrible Wolf. Valerie has to choose to marry the rich young blacksmith, or run away with her childhood friend, Peter, who is an outcast.
I’m DNFing this stupidity. Boring. Instalove of the worst kind. Mediocre writing. Rotten characters. Bleh.
I got to page 88, and had to quit. When they agree to run away together after having only exchanged about twenty words and one moonlit horseback ride, I’m done with this nonsense.

It also annoyed me that the girls run off in the middle of the night to the boys’ camp to flirt with them. What was the point of that whole scene?

Book Review: The Little Red Wolf

The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais
The Little Red Wolf 
by Amélie Fléchais (Illustrator)

2 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


What the hay kind of bedtime story is this?!?! The last line reads, “In his rage, misfortune struck. So sad and horrible, that he could never forgive himself.”
And that’s it! That’s the end. Everyone depressed and distraught forever. OMG, what is WRONG with this story?

The artwork is so lovely, so beautiful. Subtle colors and lines, pretty little details of forest flora and fauna. The beginning is whimsical and sweet as a little wolf travels through the forest to take a dead rabbit to his grandmother’s house. He follows a butterfly, and explores a little mousey hole, and stops to look at a beetle.

Then it gets gross.

First of all, dead rabbit in every scene, just laying there in the basket, being dead and all. Also, the little wolf gets hungry and decides to eat just one of the rabbit feet as a snack. Oh, yum. Dead bloody rabbit feet. Never mind the bones. Continue reading

Book Review: Brave Red, Smart Frog

Brave Red, Smart Frog by Emily Jenkins
5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This delightful collection of familiar fairy tales is told with a fresh voice and enchanting writing!

Including new versions of Snow White, The Frog Prince, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, and several others that are less well-known, this book provides a crisp new look at these old tales while still remaining true to the main stories.

While the basic plots remain the same, it’s the sparkling dialogue and little inside jokes that make these fairy tales so enjoyable to read and reread.

The lovely illustrations bring the stories to life and give a nod to classic fairy tale illustrators like Arthur Rackham and Walter Crane. I love how elegant the illustrations are! Continue reading

Book Review: Snow White

Snow White by Matt Phelan
5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


A wonderful retelling of Snow White set in the Jazz Age of America! Snow White is a New York heiress, and she meets seven orphan boys who live on the street. They help Snow White to hide from her stepmother, the “Queen of the Ziegfeld Follies” on Broadway.

I love the 20s costumes, and the contrast between rugged New York streets and the glitz and glam of the Follies. The setting really makes this into a new story, despite the fact that the plot itself follows the original fairy tale pretty closely. There are a few key details that are changed, which kept things interesting. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Rapunzel

Rapunzel
Rapunzel by Bethan Woollvin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, my goodness! This is wonderful!!! There is Rapunzel, stuck in the tower, with that evil witch visiting her every day. But does Rapunzel need a Prince to save her?? NO! Rapunzel figures out a way to defeat the witch and free herself from the tower, all on her own.

Rapunzel is resourceful and brave! She’s really quite ingenious, and (dare I say it?) full of spunk.
She makes friends with some forest animals, and with their help, she becomes a scourge to witches everywhere. I just love seeing a story where the princess takes action and saves herself! Continue reading