Sleeping Beauty

illus. by Erin McGuire. 40p. Disney-Hyperion. Jun. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781423121084.
PreS-Gr 2—Rylant's retelling features many hallmarks of the traditional tale but grounds itself firmly for a primary grade audience. Royal parents of a longed-for child invite seven fairy godmothers to bestow blessings on the baby princess. But an embittered eighth fairy has been forgotten, and she is easily offended. When the unexpected guest shows up, she must make do with a brass teapot rather than one specially crafted of "rose pearl and royal silver." As revenge, the "angry fairy" curses the baby: in 15 years the young girl will prick her finger on a spindle and "fall into a neverending sleep." Luckily, one good fairy, who remained hidden, uses her gift to lessen the curse: the princess will sleep for 100 years before being "awakened by love." Throughout the book, Rylant ruminates on the theme of time: "There are times in life when you can do nothing but wait. This will be such a time." Notably, the young prince awakens Sleeping Beauty by kissing her hand, not her lips, in a very G-rated fashion. McGuire's illustrations enchant with vibrant colors and cherubic faces. She effectively portrays the eighth fairy as wicked but not overly scary.
VERDICT An unoriginal but sweet presentation of a classic story with illustrations sure to wow any young princess fan. A fine selection for large fairy-tale collections.

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