These stories were some of the tales that wooed my youngest girls into sitting for longer periods of time for a read-aloud. They are silly and familiar. I love them all.

Now my girls have listened to these stories at bed time more times than they can count. I decided to add some fun reading to my list this month and revisit them. They are just as fun the 100th time as they are the first. That's the mark of a great book!

We first purchased them as individual books, but The Fairy's Return and Other Princess Tales come with all six stories in one volume. It is a great investment!

Review: The Fairy’s Return and Other Princess TalesThe Fairy's Return and Other Princess Tales by Gail Carson Levine
Published by HarperCollins on May 5, 2009
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Humorous Stories, Royalty, Young Adult
Pages: 400
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five-stars

What would you do if diamonds and rubies tumbled out of your mouth every time you spoke? Well, that′s what happens to Rosella after a run with a misguided fairy in "A Fairy′s Mistake." If you were turned into a toad, would you pine after your prince as much as Parsley does in "For Biddle′s Sake?"
The road to happily-ever-after is never easy, but the masterful touch of Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine will keep readers laughing their way through these fresh retellings of popular fairy tales.


Review: The Fairy’s Return and Other Princess TalesThe Fairy's Mistake (The Princess Tales) (The Princess Tales) by Gail Carson Levine
on March 21, 1999
Genres: Children's, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Fiction
Length: 1 hour 8 minutes
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five-stars

The Fairy's Mistake might be my favorite because it was the first story I met. From the beginning you will be surprised and entertained with the fairy's gift that takes an unexpected turn.

From the Publisher

While Myrtle was in the village, Rosella went out to her garden to pick peas for dinner, As she worked, she sang, Oh, May is the lovely month. Sing hey nonny May-o! Oh, June is the flower month. Sing hey nonny June-o! And so on. While she sang, gems dropped from her mouth. It still felt funny, but she was getting used to it. Except once. She popped a pea in her mouth as she sang, and she almost broke a tooth on a ruby.


Review: The Fairy’s Return and Other Princess TalesThe Princess Test (The Princess Tales, #2) by Gail Carson Levine, Mark Elliott
Published by HarperCollins on March 21, 1999
Genres: Children's, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Fiction
Pages: 91
Length: 1 hour and 17 minutes
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five-stars

The Princess Test is a spin on the classic Princess and the Pea. I love how Lorelei, the blacksmith's daughter, tries so hard to be happy in her place in life. However, every ordinary task she attempts goes very wrong. While you know what will happen in this story, Gail Carson Levine weaves a story that will bring delightfully unexpected twists and turns...like the princess with a crocodile. Yeah. It's awesome.

From the Publisher

King Humphrey has decided it's time for his son, Prince Nicholas, to marry. But he must make sure the bride is a real princess. So he devises a series of princess tests, designed to weed out the phonies and the fakes. Meanwhile, Nicholas has fallen in love with Lorelei, a mere blacksmith's daughter. She's no princess, but he wants to marry her all the same--but how will she ever pass the terrible tests?


Review: The Fairy’s Return and Other Princess TalesPrincess Sonora and the Long Sleep (The Princess Tales, #3) by Gail Carson Levine, Mark Elliott
Published by HarperCollins on September 8, 1999
Genres: Children's, Middle Grade, Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 107
Length: 1 hour and 28 minutes
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five-stars

I think this is one of the stories that we quote the most often. The characters are iconic and hilarious. I love how Gail Carson Levine takes the scary out of the stories and bring in humor. They're all my favorites, but this one I could listen to over and over again.

From the Publisher

A spiteful fairy. A beautiful princess. An outstretched finger. A spindle. A hundred-year snooze. A charming prince. A kiss. All the familiar ingredients.

But wait! Where did that extra prince come from? And those fairy gifts that were never there before? And what does a flock of balding sheep have to do with anything?

Gail Carson Levine has waved her magic wand over the old standby of "Sleeping Beauty" and presto! It reappears, transformed, sparkling, and hilarious. Chuckles and giggles are guaranteed.


Review: The Fairy’s Return and Other Princess TalesCinderellis and the Glass Hill by Gail Carson Levine
Published by Harper Collins on February 2, 2000
Genres: Young Adult, Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Humorous Stories
Pages: 112
Length: 1 hour and 18 minutes
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five-stars

One thing I love about Levine's characters is that she brings a level of mutual respect to her royalty and peasants. She highlights the good in treating one another as equals and with kindness and plays off the folly of treating others poorly. I love the inventiveness of this story. It amazes me how rethinking an old favorite fairy tale can bring about such a new and creative tale.

From the Publisher

Ralph said, "Rain tomorrow." Burt said, "Barley needs it. You're covered with cinders, Ellis." Ralph thought that was funny. "That's funny." He laughed. "That's what we should call him-- Cinderellis." Burt guffawed.
In this unusual spin on an old favorite, Cinderlla is a boy! He's Cinderellis, and he has two unfriendly brothers and no fairy godmother to help him out. Luckily, he does have magical powders, and he intends to use them to win the hand of his Princess Charming-- that is, Marigold. The only problem is-- Marigold thinks Cinderellis is a monster!

In this fourth of her Princess Tales, Levine brings new life and new fun into a little-known tale and proves that determination, imagination, and kindness can carry the day.


Review: The Fairy’s Return and Other Princess TalesFor Biddle's Sake by Gail Carson Levine
Published by HarperCollins on October 8, 2002
Genres: Young Adult, Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Royalty, Humorous Stories
Pages: 112
Length: 1 hour and 40 minutes
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five-stars

This one is my youngest daughter's favorite. It wasn't as familiar of a story to me, but that didn't take away from the enjoyment.

From the Publisher

There she was, chartreuse and warty and smiling at him. Such a nice smile. Something in his heart fluttered. The young maiden, Parsley, will eat nothing but parsley, which in Snettering-on-Snoakes grows only in the fairy Bombina's garden. All is well -- until Bombina is released from the fairy queen's dungeon. Her crime? Failing to get along with humans. And turning them into toads!

Meanwhile, twin princes Randolph and Rudolph are causing trouble at Biddle Castle and pinning everything on their younger brother, Tansy. Prince Tansy cares about Biddle. Randolph and Rudolph don't. But one of the twins will be king, unless Prince Tansy accepts help from a green Biddlebum Toad!

A delightful retelling of the little-known German fairy tale "Puddocky," this fifth Princess Tale from Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine shows that nothing is quite as it seems and that anything is possible, with a dash of magic and a barrel of love.


Review: The Fairy’s Return and Other Princess TalesThe Fairy's Return by Gail Carson Levine
Published by Harper Collins on October 8, 2002
Genres: Young Adult, Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Royalty, Humorous Stories
Pages: 112
Length: 1 hour and 7 minutes
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Goodreads
five-stars

This last addition to the Princess Tales brings the story full circle with the return of the fairy Ethelinda who finally gets things right...but it is never how you would expect! I really love this one. It is a very satisfying end to a great series!

From the Publisher

Boy meets princess, and it's love at first sight. Both laugh at the same jokes. Both are named after birds. His name is Robin, hers is Lark. Could there ever have been a more perfect match?

But alas! King Harrumphrey won't let Lark marry a baker's son. And Robin is betrothed to someone else.

Now toss in Robin's nonsense-talking brothers, Nat and Matt, their versifying father, and Ethelinda, the fairy who wrought havoc in The Fairy's Mistake, and you've got a "nutcrazical" situation!

A hilarious spoof on "The Golden Goose" by the Brothers Grimm, The Fairy's Return is the sixth Princess Tale from beloved Newbery Honor author and master fairy tale reteller Gail Carson Levine.

five-stars

1 Comment

  1. Ticia Messing on May 12, 2020 at 9:25 am

    I love this series, and most every book by Gail Carson Levine.

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