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by Bruce Hale & illustrated by Howard Fine

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-15-216314-3
Publisher: Harcourt

In this send-up of a familiar tale, a hard-of-hearing fairy manages to modify the crib-side curse so that instead of dying under the wheels of a pie wagon, the princess will turn into a sleeping dragon, who can only be awakened by a quince. Up grows the princess, so perfect thanks to her other fairy gifts that she has no friends, and when the curse finally strikes, she is transformed into a huge, snoring dragon—with red lips and nails, in Fine’s typically boisterous illustrations. Nor can any wake her, until the arrival of dapper Prince Quince, whose kiss reverses the curse . . . with, that is, one important exception that only becomes apparent on their wedding night. Nonetheless, thanks to a pair of earplugs “they lived happily—and noisily—ever after.” Hale gives the story a frog narrator, a cast with silly names and the lightly applied message that nobody’s quite perfect. Set this next to the similarly themed likes of Jane Yolen’s Sleeping Ugly (1981) or Margie Palatini’s Three Silly Billies (2005). (Picture book. 7-9)