Three fair (literally—they are all white) maidens ready themselves to vie for the prince’s love.
This highly predictable tale begins with three princess-wannabes giddy at having been invited to the prince’s soirée. Once one of the girls is selected, readers must help with her chores so she can go to the ball. Tasks include tidying up, arranging a vase of flowers and feeding various types of “fruit” (including carrots, strangely enough) to animals. Subsequently, a diminutive fairy godmother provides everything from kimonos to bling so that readers can dress the maiden, paper doll–style. Once properly adorned, she arrives at the party and gets her shot with the prince by solving three “riddles,” one of which is properly arranging a table setting (apparently Emily Post has found her way to Fairyland). The text is presented alternately on a faux-antique book and a scroll, which drifts down to temporarily obscure a full-screen image. There are a few other tactile treats, including popping balloons, detonating fireworks and an opportunity to paint (yawn), but they quickly lose their luster amid the primitive animation and clunky presentation. In addition, language like “Oh yeah!” and “Lookin' good!” are incongruent with the once-upon-a-time motif that the calligraphy-laden text and the Old World attire suggest.
A retrograde, positively vapid story with superficial whistles and bells that fizzle well before the clock strikes midnight. (iPad storybook app. 3-6)