Synopses & Reviews
Gail Carson Levine charmed the world with Ella Enchanted
, her spirited retelling of the Cinderella story. Now this award-winning author turns her attention to two more classic fairy tales, and deftly turns them upside down and inside out with her trademark wit and hilarity.
In The Fairy's Mistake, two very different sisters have two very different encounters with the fairy Ethelinda. Rosella is kind and helpful. Her reward: Jewels and gems tumble out of her mouth whenever she speaks. Myrtle is rude and spiteful. Her punishment: Bugs and vipers slither out of her mouth. The fairy Ethelinda feels she's meted out justice just right--until she discovers Rosella has been locked up by a greedy prince and Myrtle is having the time of her life!
In The Princess Test, King Humphrey has decided its 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?
In these first two delightfully entertaining, laugh-out-loud Princess Tales, Gail Levine gently spoofs the notion that fairies are always right and that tests can never prove a persons worth, but holds fast to the notion that true love will always win in the end.
In this humorous retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Princess and the Pea", Lorelei must pass many difficult tests in order to prove that she is a true princess and win the hand of Prince Nicholas. Illustrations.
About the Author
Gail Carson Levine grew up in New York City and has been writing all her life. Her first book for children, Ella Enchanted,
was a 1998 Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Dave At Night,
an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre;
and the other five Princess Tales books: The Princess Test, The Fairy's Mistake, Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep, Cinderellis and the Glass Hill,
and The Fairy's Return.
She is also the author of the picture book Betsy Who Cried Wolf,
illustrated by Scott Nash. Gail, her husband, David, and their Airedale, Baxter, live in a two-hundred-year-old farmhouse in the Hudson River Valley.
In Her Own Words...
"EIla Enchanted began in a marvelous writing course at New York City's The New School. I had to write something and couldn't think of a plot, so I decided to write a Cinderella story because it already had a plot! Then, when I thought about Cinderella's character, I realized that she was too much of a goody-two-shoes for me and I would hate her before I finished ten pages. That's when I came up with the curse: she's only good because she has to be, and she's in constant rebellion.
"As a child I loved fairy tales because the story, the what-comes-next, is paramount. As an adult I'm fascinated by their logic and illogic. Ella's magic book gave me the chance to answer a question that always plagued me about The Shoemaker and the Elves: why the elves abandon the shoemaker. I came up with one answer, but many are possible -- and I think the real solution goes to the heart of gratitude and recognition, an example of the depth in fairy tales.
"I grew up in New York City. In elementary school I was a charter member of the Scribble Scrabble Club, and in high school my poems were published in an anthology of student poetry. I didn't want to be a writer. First I wanted to act and then I wanted to be a painter like my big sister. In college, I was a Philosophy major, and my prose style was very dry and dull! My interest in the theater led me to my first writing experience as an adult. My husband David wrote the music and lyrics and I wrote the book for a children's musical, Spacenapped that was produced by a neighborhood theater in Brooklyn.
"And my painting brought me to writing for children in earnest. I took a class in writing and illustrating children's books and found that I was much more interested in the writing than in the illustrating.
"Most of my job life has had to do with welfare, first helping people find work and then as an administrator. The earlier experience was more direct and satisfying, and I enjoy thinking that a bunch of people somewhere are doing better today than they might have done if not for me."