Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Buy from

Rate this Book

Sonderbooks 50
    Previous Book
    Next Book

Young Adult Fiction
Children's Nonfiction
Children's Fiction
        Previous Book
        Next Book

Picture Books

2004 Stand-outs
2003 Stand-outs
    Previous Book
    Next Book

2002 Stand-outs
2001 Stand-outs

Five-Star Books
Four-Star Books
Old Favorites
Back Issues
List of Reviews by Title
List of Reviews by Author

Why Read?
Children and Books
Links For Book Lovers

About Me
Contact Me 
Make a Donation
Post on Bulletin Board
View Bulletin Board

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

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


***The Ugly Princess and the Wise Fool

by Margaret Gray

illustrations by Randy Cecil

Reviewed March 29, 2003.
Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2002.  167 pages.
Winner of a Christopher Award 2003.
A Sonderbooks’ Stand-out of 2003:  #5, Children's Fantasy

I always love fairy tale variants.  The Ugly Princess and the Wise Fool begins with delightful promise:  “A very long time ago, when all the countries you’ve ever heard of were in different places on the map, and the world was still full of the dark, wide forests where fairies tend to live, a princess was born who was not beautiful.  She wasn’t even remotely pretty, and the whole kingdom was in deep shock about it.”

What follows is a fun, light-hearted original fairy tale.  When a handsome prince comes along and spurns ugly Princess Rose, she weakens and wishes to be beautiful.  Naturally, the prince isn’t all that nice, once she gets to know him.  Will she be stuck marrying him anyway?  She needs the help of the court Fool, who is actually a wise man in disguise.  (The king banned all wise men from his kingdom because they were laughing at him.)

This book pokes fun at all the traditional fairy tale stereotypes while telling an enjoyable story.  Fans of Gail Carson Levine’s Princess Tales will enjoy this book as well.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

-top of page-