Well, if you have read a few of my reviews, you know that I adore longer children’s books like this where it is interactive and gives kids a choice on what to do! I am sure you and your children will enjoy this book called ”An Undone Fairy Tale” as much as I did. My daughter does not do funny and she still enjoyed it for the interactiveness of it. She was so pleased with herself (she had read it on the way home in the car) when she knew what to expect on the next page and I didn’t! I could have never guessed either! This is a surprising kids’ book that is nothing like you would expect!
There is a warning on the inside book jacket: “Yes, you do know how to read quickly, but please don’t do that in this book…the story will be ruined if you turn the page right now.”
This fairytale stars a princess jailed in a tall tower by her stepfather. Why? Because he wanted to keep all of her fabulous pies to himself. It seems she was the best baker around. Knights would come and attempt three tasks to rescue her, but continued to fail at them until Sir Wilbur came along. This is where the story changes a bit. We meet Ned, the painter who is working on the pictures in the book, but he has not been able to keep up with your fast page-turning, so he had time to paint a donut on the king’s head only and is still frantically trying to paint the castle wall. The dialogue tells us to pretend that the donut is the king’s crown. A man peeks in and says to wait before going on as the horses and armor are not ready. (The text of the story line is in bold while the speech by the men are not in bold.) Whoops, still turned the page too fast. We see poor Ned struggling to get the horse over to the knight, but he is failing, so the knight is riding a fish and is dressed in…bet you can’t guess! A tutu!! The king said the knight has to slay a dragon, so this is where we are now.
The bottom of this page begs the reader not to hurry on just yet…the dragon is shown in a shower with a shower cap on his head. Ned has substituted a pretzel in its place, so now we have a scary giant pretzel fighting men in tutus. The pretzel is defeated and the king says the prince now has to build a wall around the castle. Poor Ned is shown running off the page to get started painting walls. Uh oh…the wall is built from…grape Popsicles!! The bottom of the page again pleads with the reader, but this time it says wait until the next day as Ned needs time to finish the next page. As you can see, this is an entertaining book! In the end, the princess rides up on a snail holding a banana to save the day. Poor Ned left town.
This 30-page book, ”An Undone Fairy Tale,” is wonderful to read aloud and guess at what Ned can use to substitute in the fairy tale. Kids will laugh at what is used on each page! I love the interactive phrases letting kids decide to turn the page now or wait. This story comes to life and is very unique from the standard fairytale! The illustrations are mostly in color, but some sections show blank white space where Ned has not painted yet. Not only do we see the fairy tale pictures, but also the painter and his tools at the bottom of the pages. We see them frantically trying to finish the paintings. The pictures seem to get sloppier with each turn of the page, but still realistic. From 21 lines of text to only four lines of text with the pictures above, beside, and around the text.
I would have preferred different colors for the text in the story to differentiate it from the dialogue of the two men talking to the reader. Recommended for 2nd graders and up, but younger readers will enjoy it with a parent’s help! A wonderful book to read during story hour. We had great fun with me guessing what could Ned use to replace certain items in the story and my daughter enjoyed the unique fairy tale. I also liked that the hero of the story was the princess! That does not happen often enough.
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Jamie Lee Curtis: Answering Life’s Questions for Kids, One Children’s Book at a Time. Is There Really a Human Race?