Taylor's (Mystic Pizza)
chatty tone and swift, assured pacing is just right for this volume collecting six of Levine's (Ella Enchanted) lighthearted Princess Tales novels. Known for spinning traditional fairy and folk tales into new, entertaining, often comical versions, Levine doesn't disappoint. Listeners will recognize themes from "The Princess and the Pea" in The Princess Test
and hear traces of "The Golden Goose" in The Fairy's Return, a sequel to The Fairy's Mistake, which featured the good-hearted but perhaps overly meddlesome fairy Ethelinda. Princes (and toads, of course), kings, princesses, knights, fairies and greedy, wicked relatives and villains turn up in force here, and Taylor never misses a beat while relating the quirky goings on in Snettering-on-Snoakes in the Kingdom of Biddle. Taylor's approach, which conveys Levine's bright humor and clever plot antics without incorporating overt silliness, will please the author's fans and perhaps win some new aficionados as well. Simultaneous release with the HarperCollins hardcovers
For Biddle's Sake and
The Fairy's Return.
Ages 7-12. (Oct.)