Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**     = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


*****Sleeping Ugly

by Jane Yolen

pictures by Diane Stanley

Reviewed October 2, 2003.
Scholastic, New York, 1981.  64 pages.
A Sonderbooks’ Stand-out of 2003:  #2, Old Favorite Picture Books

I’ve reviewed so many books by Jane Yolen lately, I wanted to bring up the first of her books that I ever read, Sleeping Ugly.  It’s the perfect example of the delightful twist on an old fairy tale that I like so much.

Miserella is beautiful on the outside, but ugly on the inside.  Plain Jane is plain on the outside, but kind and good on the inside.

When Miserella gets lost in the woods, she stumbles over a fairy, and they both find their way to Plain Jane’s house.  Jane is so kind to the fairy, she is given three wishes.  The princess throws temper tantrums and Jane uses her first two wishes restoring Miserella after the fairy punishes her.  Then the fairy got completely impatient and accidentally puts them all into a hundred-year sleep.

A century letter, a young prince named Jojo comes along.  Will he kiss awake the beautiful, horrible princess, or kind and plain Jane?  The ending is completely satisfying.

This wonderful story is delightfully written and playfully illustrated.  Reading it to a child, or to yourself, is sure to put a smile on your face.

Other books by Jane Yolen:

Take Joy:  A Book for Writers
Sword of the Rightful King
Mightier than the Sword
The Perfect Wizard:  Hans Christian Anderson

The Tartan Magic Series:The Wizard's Map
The Pictish Child
The Bagpiper's Ghost

With Robert J. Harris:
Girl in a Cage
Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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