“Once upon a time, a king and a queen used to say to each other every day, ‘If only we could have a child!’ ”
Readers will eagerly embrace this sparkling retelling of the classic tale, which comes to life through delicate, ethereal illustrations by renowned Czech illustrator Dusíková. Soft-focused pictures, reminiscent of the work of Lisbeth Zwerger, glow in a rosy palette as they depict the king and queen blessed with a sweet princess who is cursed by a vengeful and forgotten fairy. Straightforward text with just the right amount of detail gracefully presents the story as the illustrations follow closely along, bursting into bloom as the appropriate prince arrives to greet the sleeping princess with his kiss. Readers interested in the history of the tale will have to look elsewhere, but fans of fairy tales and princesses will happily lose themselves in the subtle details and dreamlike quality of the pictures; replete with sprightly courtiers, evocative stone stairways and turrets, sumptuous fabrics and lively animals, this luminous fairy-tale world radiates warmth and magic—and, naturally, provides a very happy ending.
A fine choice for princess lovers and traditionalists. (Picture book/fairy tale. 6-10)