Book Review: Illustrated Tales of Dwarfs, Gnomes, and Fairy Folk

Illustrated Tales of Dwarfs, Gnomes and Fairy Folk by Daniela Drescher

Illustrated Tales of Dwarfs, Gnomes and Fairy Folk
by Daniela Drescher (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

I am so impressed with this beautiful book of fairy tales! They are told in that traditional fairy tale style. Each story is so enchanting! Most of these are stories that I have never heard of before.

The art style is so beautiful! The subtle colors and the delicate lines are absolutely lovely and magical! I love how little details in the background will catch your attention, and add meaning to the story. It’s so delightful to see these stories come alive in the art work!

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Book Review: Tales of Fearless Girls

Forgotten Fairy Tales by Isabel Otter

Forgotten Fairy Tales: Fearless Girls Around the World
by Isabel Otter, Ana Sender (Illustrations)

This collection of fairy tales features stories from all over the globe. Each story has a fearless woman or girl who dives into adventure with courage and resourcefulness. The stories have a wide range of settings in different cultures, including Germany, Mexico, Siberia, Japan, Fiji, Nigeria, and India. Some of the tales include magical beings like elves and sorcerers, and some have magic gods and giants.

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Book Review: Fairy Tales for Brave Children

An Illustrated Collection of Fairy Tales for Brave Children by Hans Christian Andersen

An Illustrated Collection of Fairy Tales for Brave Children
by Hans Christian AndersenWilhelm GrimmJacob GrimmScott Plumbe (Author) (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

I am so impressed with this beautiful book of fairy tales! They are told in that traditional fairy tale style, and include some well-known favorites like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Hansel and Gretel” as well as a few lesser-known stories.
I especially liked “The Wild Swans” and “The Three Golden Hairs”. I had never read “The Spirit in the Bottle” or “The Selfish Giant” before, and I enjoyed those very much as well. Each story is so enchanting!

The art style is so beautiful! The subtle colors and the delicate lines are absolutely lovely and magical! I love how little details in the background will catch your attention, and add meaning to the story. It’s so delightful to see these stories come alive in the art work!

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Book Review: Welsh Legendary Tales

Welsh Legendary Tales by Elisabeth Shippard-Jones

Welsh Legendary Tales
by Elisabeth Shippard-Jones
4 out of 5 stars

This collection of Welsh fairy tales is a complete delight! Each story is about 2-4 pages long. The writing is in a traditional fairy tale style, and the stories usually include some sort of moral lesson about being generous, minding your own business, or being cautious around magic.

Leprechauns, brownies, goblins, changelings, and fairies abound through the stories! There are magical cows who produce ten times the milk of a regular cow. There are fairy rings where the fairies dance the night away, and if you step inside one you will be whisked out of the realm of man.

I enjoyed reading these stories, one or two every evening at bedtime. I found them refreshing and imaginative and fun!

Book Review: Ogre Enchanted

Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ogre Enchanted (Ella Enchanted, #0.5)
by Gail Carson Levine (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

Evie is a teenage healer, always concocting potions for her best friend, Wormy. When he proposes, she says no, and the fairy Lucinda curses her to be an ogre until she accepts a marriage proposal. Any marriage proposal from anyone. Evie travels to the Fens, hoping to learn the art of persuasion from the ogres who live there. Life as an ogre is more difficult than she imagined, but Evie becomes known as the healer ogre. She searches for someone who will awaken her ability to love, and hopes that someone will propose to her. But she isn’t even sure what love is supposed to feel like.

I was disappointed in this book.
The story was oddly disjointed, and there were several things that seemed exceedingly far-fetched, even for a fairytale world. The ending was rushed, and the relationships felt forced. The characters are okay, but I wasn’t amazed with their personalities or the bland character development.

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Book Review: The Princess Games

The Princess Games by Danai  Kadzere
The Princess Games
by Danai Kadzere (Goodreads Author)

3 out of 5 stars

Emma and Laralyn are two peasant girls, one beautiful and one plain. When the King and Queen decide to adopt a Princess, the girls become contestants in the Princess Games to win a place in the royal family. Emma is sturdy, clever, and hard-working. She only cares about the food. Laralyn is dainty, demure, and determined to win. She only cares about pleasing her money-loving mother. How can they compete with the dozens of other girls who all want to be the new Princess?
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Book Review: The Ravenous Gown

The Ravenous Gown by Steffani Raff
The Ravenous Gown: And 14 More Tales about Real Beauty
by Steffani Raff (Goodreads Author)

5 out of 5 stars


These fairy tales focus on daring young men and women who want to be appreciated for their personality, virtues, and inner qualities rather than outward beauty. They battle dragons, fight wars, defeat evil sorcerers, and unravel magic in order to find their true identity and inspire their kingdom.

I loved that these fairy tales use all the old tropes about dragons and knights and fair maidens, and then turn everything upside down and surprise you with the plot twists when the maiden saves herself.
Each fairy tale is short but powerful with meaningful messages of hope and acceptance. Continue reading

Book Review: The Everything Princess Book

The Everything Princess Book by Barbara Beery
The Everything Princess Book: 101 Crafts, Recipes, Stories, Hairstyles, and More!
by Barbara Beery, David Miles, Brooke Jorden, Michele Robbins, Rebecca Sorge 

5 out of 5 stars

This book begins with several fairy tales about princesses, including Thumbelina, Princess Savitri, and Princess Kaguya. The next chapter has royal recipes and instructions for organizing a tea party, a royal ball, or a cottage picnic. There is also a chapter with princess games and activities, and another with crafts for making your own tiara, princess sandals, necklaces, and fancy invitations.

The chapter on “Princess Practices” goes over courtesy and manners including the proper way to set a table, how to curtsy and have proper posture, as well as lessons in horsemanship, music, penmanship, art, fencing, and how to deal with enchantments and poison apples. You will also learn how to say hello in different languages, how to do the princess wave, and be sincerely friendly when meeting foreign dignitaries.

My favorite chapter was the one about “Being a True Princess” with lessons and examples for Kindness, Courage, Gratitude, Honesty, Intelligence, Sensitivity, Forgiving, and Inner Beauty. This chapter asks thoughtful questions and encourages the reader to take action in their own lives and share kindness with others.
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Book Review: Just Ella

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Just Ella
by Margaret Peterson Haddix

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This story begins at the end of Cinderella’s fairy tale, when Ella is engaged to marry Prince Charming. With the wedding only two months away, Ella is forced to learn restrictive palace protocol, sit through endless embroidery lessons, and learn the boring history of the royal family. Her meetings with the Prince are awkward and silent, and her only friends are the poor serving child, Mary, and the philosophy tutor, Jed. Ella begins to wonder if she really loves the Prince at all, and if she can tolerate the confinement of the palace for the rest of her life.

I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed this book! (I really hate the cover art, and made the mistake of judging the book by its cover.) I read it all in one sitting, because I could not put it down.

Ella is fiery and energetic. She longs to do courageous deeds and have close relationships with people, but the royal protocol is so restrictive that no one can have a meaningful conversation, much less actually connect with anyone or do anything of real consequence. I loved the way she beat her wings against those cage bars and finally escaped to build her own life. Continue reading

Book Review: A Bag of Moonshine

A Bag Of Moonshine by Alan Garner
A Bag Of Moonshine
by Alan Garner

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


I loved this collection of fairy tales, rewritten from the folklore of England and Wales. The author has an uncanny ability to mimic the story-telling style of old folk tales, with whimsy and ingenuity.

The black and white illustrations add to the ghoulish atmosphere of the tales, and they are true to the art style I see in so many old fairy tale books from the late 1800s.

The enchantment of these stories lies in the excellent word-craft, and the weird and eccentric characters who populate the world of magic and mayhem. Full of changlings, witches, ogres who spin gold, and the clever youngest brother named Jack, these stories captivate the reader with the magnetic words and witty narrative style.