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AN UNDONE FAIRY TALE by Ian Lendler Kirkus Star


by Ian Lendler & illustrated by Whitney Martin

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-689-86677-1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

An ordinary fairy tale (pie-baking princess locked in tall tower, knights must perform feats to win her hand from fat stepfather king) is made extraordinary as Ned, the illustrator, and an unnamed narrator attempt to get readers to slow down so they can finish the pictures. Unfortunately, readers are uncooperative. What results is a comedy worthy of Monty Python fans. Sir Wilbur’s first task is to slay a dragon . . . but Ned does not have the horses or armor ready, so he must ride a fish and wear a pink tutu—the only props available. One disaster follows another as readers refuse to follow the narrator’s directions, differentiated from the text by a font change. In the final showdown the snail-riding princess, who has rescued herself, leads an army of fish-riding, banana-wielding monkeys, the king rides out to greet her with an army of pickles and the beleaguered Ned finally quits. Martin’s illustrations are perfect, mixing the two simultaneous tales until their edges are indistinguishable. The spot-on renderings of Ned and the narrator’s facial expressions only add to the slapstick. Tremendously clever and hysterically funny. (Picture book. 4-10)