Endlessly Ever After: Pick Your Path to Countless Fairy Tale Endings! by Laurel Synder

5 stars Children’s Fairy Tale Retelling

Holy Mogoly!  This book is just amazing!  I started this book over and over again and every time, I got a different outcome.  It truly was one terrific book.   If you love children’s books, love fairy tales, love twisted stories, or just love choose your own path stories, this book is for you.

Let me start by saying that this is an oversized children’s book which provides the reader with some pretty fantastic illustrations.  The faces and the drama that occurs in this book falls right into your lap as you open this book.  When the author says “ENDLESS VARIATIONS” they definitely mean it.  As I read this, Little Red Riding Hood ran into characters from other Fairy Tales including Hansel & Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, Jack, Snow White, the wolf, a witch, a goose, some piggies, and a grandma. 

Little Red is headed to her grandma’s with a cake, Rosie as she is known in this story needs to pick out a coat to wear.  Does she wear her favorite red cape or a cozy faux fur coat?  This first choice will have you turning to page 6 or page 20.  What will it be?  

If you chose the red cape, you (Rosie) find a wolf waiting on the path.  Oh, no!  He looks ornery and he starts asking you lots of questions.  You (Rosey) wish you’d never seen him or talked to him.  But now what do you do?  Go back home and start over tomorrow or continue on your journey?

If you chose the cozy faux fur coat, you’re (Rosie)skipping along but you soon notice a different house on the path.  Do you knock and meet these new neighbors or do you continue on to grandmas?

You never knew what awaited you when you turned the page on this book.  Was it is a good choice or a bad choice?  I thought that each time I created a new story, it wasn’t a short, senseless story but it was fun.  I enjoyed making all the choices that I got to make and the illustrations were amazing and they really helped make each story great.  I can’t say enough about this book except you have to read it – you really do!!  10 stars+++

The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Mac Barnett

5 stars Children’s Picture Book

The troll was starving. He’d only ate a leather boot and some goop from inside his belly button so when he heard the “Clip, clop! Clip, clip!” on the bridge over his head, he was thinking food. The troll hollers up to whoever is up on the bridge and climbs out onto the bridge, scaring Gruit, the goat.  The troll sings a detailed song about how much he loves eating trolls.  Like in the classic story, Gruit explains about his bigger brother coming soon so the troll lets Gruit cross the bridge and the troll crawls back under the bridge to wait.  Troll, thinking that he’s smart, handsome, and fun hears the second goat and again he pops up on the bridge, ready to eat this Billy Goat.  The troll sings another verse of his, “how I love goats, let me count the ways” song.  The second Billy Goat again gets the troll to wait for the next brother to come across, promising a better meal than he can provide.

Wait for it……oh, the troll can’t wait to see how wonderful this billy goat will be!  Holy Moly!! I don’t think the troll was ready for this Billy Goat.   This is a fun version of the story and I liked the way the troll made up the song.  There were other little parts about the story that I liked too.  I liked the little extras that were thrown in:  what the troll had ate, what the troll does under the bridge, and what the troll says in the book.  Those little things add to the story.  I liked the darkness of the illustrations as to me; this is a dark story.  It’s also a fun story that my children used to act out in the playground and I do it now, with my own grandchildren.    5 stars

Reading Beauty by Deborah Underwood

4.5 stars Childrens

Princess Lex read morning, noon, and night, surrounded by book lovers.  Where is this place? Sounds like a great place to live. I found this book at the library and after this opening page, I was sold and I had to check it out.  With a bedroom full of books, Lex would speed read through them, enlisting her trained dog to help fetch her reading material for her.  This all changes on her 15th birthday though.  When she awoke on her birthday, all of her books were gone!  Craziness!!

Lex runs to parents and they sit her down and explain.  When Lex was little, her parents had a party.  An irritated fairy crashed the party, made a scene because she thought she wasn’t invited.   That night at the party, the fairy put a curse on Lex.  The curse stated that when Lex turned 15, she would receive a paper cut.  This cut would be the result of reading a book.  The cut would put her in a deep sleep which could only be cured by a kiss from one’s true love.  Hence, her parents were the ones who took all of her books away.  They saved her from a paper cut which would put her in a deep sleep.

Now, Lex’s world became dark and sad.  She didn’t have any books to read. Lex couldn’t let this go on any longer and she decides to pay the fairy a visit to see about undoing the curse. Needing information to get this accomplished, Lex gets the help from a bot. The fairy has been keeping tabs on Lex and she was prepared for Lex when she arrives.  It’s a princess vs. a fairy as they battle out this curse and the ending was great. I enjoyed this book.  I thought the illustrations were fun and full of energy and the storyline was fast-paced and entertaining. It has a good message too.  I highly recommend this cute book.  4.5 stars