The Fairy's Mistake

The Fairy's Mistake

4.4 17
by Gail Carson Levine, Mark Elliott, Mark Elliott

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Gail Carson Levine charmed the world with Ella Enchanted, her spirited retelling of the Cinderella story. Now this award-winning author turns her attention to two more classic fairy tales, and deftly turns them upside down and inside out with her trademark wit and hilarity.

In The Fairy's Mistake, two very different sisters have two very different


Gail Carson Levine charmed the world with Ella Enchanted, her spirited retelling of the Cinderella story. Now this award-winning author turns her attention to two more classic fairy tales, and deftly turns them upside down and inside out with her trademark wit and hilarity.

In The Fairy's Mistake, two very different sisters have two very different encounters with the fairy Ethelinda. Rosella is kind and helpful. Her reward: Jewels and gems tumble out of her mouth whenever she speaks. Myrtle is rude and spiteful. Her punishment: Bugs and vipers slither out of her mouth. The fairy Ethelinda feels she's meted out justice just right—until she discovers Rosella has been locked up by a greedy prince and Myrtle is having the time of her life!

In The Princess Test, King Humphrey has decided it's time for his son, Prince Nicholas, to marry. But he must make sure the bride is a real princess. So he devises a series of princess tests, designed to weed out the phonies and the fakes. Meanwhile, Nicholas has fallen in love with Lorelei, a mere blacksmith's daughter. She's no princess, but he wants to marry her all the same—but how will she ever pass the terrible tests?

In these first two delightfully entertaining, laugh-out-loud Princess Tales, Gail Levine gently spoofs the notion that fairies are always right and that tests can ever prove a person's worth, but holds fast to the notion that true love will always win in the end.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Levine's talent for hilarious subversion of fairy tale motifs, used to great effect in Ella Enchanted, her Newbery Honor-winning debut, is honed to perfection in this pair of stories, which kicks off the Princess Tales series. In The Fairy's Mistake, Levine revisits the Brothers Grimm's "Toads and Diamonds": fairy Ethelinda rewards kind Rosella, punishes her evil twin sister, Myrtle, and thinks the job is done, only to find out her spells have backfired. In The Princess Test, Andersen's "The Princess and the Pea" gets turned on its head: Lorelei, a blacksmith's daughter, proves that royal lineage is no guarantee of character. Levine once again creates heroines who defy fairy-tale stereotypes. For example, Rosella agrees to marry greedy Prince Harold because "she thought it might be pleasanter to be a princess than to be the widow Pickering's daughter and Myrtle's sister." Similarly, Lorelei, prevented from doing any work since birth because of her extreme sensitivity, is neither spoiled nor selfish. She is, however, prone to accidents and na vet . It is these unorthodox qualities that will endear Rosella and Lorelei to readers. In fact, Levine gently pokes fun at all of her characters' shortcomings (Ethelinda's ineptitude, King Humphrey's obsessive use of synonyms) and upsets the usual balance of good and evil. Elegant design and Elliott's framed, black-and-white drawings create a timeless effect that plays off nicely against Levine's updated plot twists. This is grand entertainment, likely to appeal to anyone who appreciates deadpan delivery, reluctant royalty and a touch of romance. Ages 7-10. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Julie Steinberg
kes when she is angry, the fairy becomes more careful when dispensing justice, and everyone lives happily ever after. Clever writing and a witty rendition of the "Toads and Diamonds" fairy tale make this book hard to put down. Levine is the author of Ella Enchanted, a Newberry Honor Book.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Two novellas that are grounded in well-known tales and set in the magical kingdom of Biddle. The Fairy's Mistake is a play on "Toads and Diamonds," a story from Perrault about gifts given by a witch to two sisters, one kind and the other unkind. The Princess Test is based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Princess and the Pea." Illustrated with full-page pen-and-ink drawings, both retellings are delightfully lighthearted, with little doubt that good will ultimately triumph over evil. There is a rich use of language and spirited characters, especially the females. Although "The Princess Tales" lack the complexity of plot and fantastical invention found in Levine's Ella Enchanted (HarperCollins, 1997), they make a nice addition to the genre of novels based on and yet departing from traditional tales. Although their short length and sly humor would make the books appeal to reluctant readers, the difficult font makes it hard to recommend them to that audience.-Carol A. Edwards, Sonoma County Library, Santa Rosa, CA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This hand-sized volume features delicate black-and-white line drawings that are very much in keeping with the tone of many fairy tales, but those familiar with Levine's Ella Enchanted will wisely expect, and be gratified by, the sly and unexpected foolery of this story and its companion, The Princess Test (0-06-028062-X; PLB 0-06-028063-8). In The Fairy's Mistake, Ethelinda is horrified to discover that her fairy blessing on the kind Rosella, that jewels fall from her mouth when she speaks, is being exploited by her greedy new husband, Prince Harold. Her curse on Rosella's sister, Myrtle, who drops slimy and creepy things from her mouth when she speaks, is also going awry; Myrtle uses this to get whatever she wants from people. The Princess Test takes on Lorelei's ability to feel a pea under 20 mattresses: this young thing is a great trial to her family as she is allergic to, or injures herself with, almost every household item she touches. Genuinely delightful and funny, both tales are set in the village of Snettering-on-Snoakes in the Kingdom of Biddle, a place readers will want to visit again. (Fiction. 7-12)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Princess Tales Series
Edition description:
1 ED
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.51(d)
510L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Once upon a time, in the village of Snettering-on-Snoakes in the kingdom of Biddle, Rosella fetched water from the well for the four thousand and eighty-eighth time.

Rosella always fetched the water because her identical twin sister, Myrtle, always refused to go. And their mother, the widow Pickering, never made Myrtle do anything. Instead, she made Rosella do everything.

At the well the fairy Ethelinda was having a drink. When she saw Rosella coming, she changed herself into an old lady. Then she made herself look thirsty.

"Would you like a drink, Grandmother?" Rosella said.

"That would be lovely, dearie."

Rosella lowered her wooden bucket into the well. When she lifted it out, she held the dipper so the old lady could drink.

Ethelinda slurped the water. "Thank you. Your kindness merits a reward. From now'"

"You don't have . . ." Rosella stopped. Something funny was happening in her mouth. Had she lost a tooth? There was something hard under her tongue. And something hard in her cheek. "Excuse me." Now there was something in her other cheek. She spat delicately into her hand.

They weren't teeth. She was holding a diamond and two opals.

"There, dearie." Ethelinda smiled. "Isn't that nice?"

The Fairy's Mistake. Copyright © by Gail Levine. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Gail Carson Levine's first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Ever, a New York Times bestseller; Fairest, a Best Book of the Year for Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal, and a New York Times bestseller; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre; A Tale of Two Castles; and the six Princess Tales books. She is also the author of the nonfiction books Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly and Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink, as well as the picture books Betsy Who Cried Wolf and Betsy Red Hoodie. Gail Carson Levine and her husband, David, live in a two-centuries-old farmhouse in the Hudson Valley of New York State.

Mark Elliott is the illustrator of many picture books and novels for young readers, including Gail Carson Levine's ever-popular Princess Tales series. He lives in New York State's Hudson River Valley.

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Fairy's Mistake 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about a kind girl who falls under a spell, that makes jewls fall out of her mouth. Her sister has snakes and insects instead, because she's mean! A greedy prince 'falls in love with her' to get the jewls, and they get married. He makes her talk ALOT! so he can get the jewls. Then, the princess gets sick from jewls falling out of her mouth, so her sister helps- with some coaxing from the fairy. Then Prince Herald learns his lesson, and they both decide to share the jewls with the peasants. Then they learn how to love eachother, and fall in love, HAPPILY EVER AFTER!
sara royster More than 1 year ago
this book filled me up i sat beside me to read i read it in 5th grade and i still like it so very much its a memory in my head and it always will be a memory in my head oh i love this book dearly so dearly its such a wonderful book you people the reader that is reading this my writing please read this wonderful beautiful story trust me you will like it and tell it to grandchildren oh just trust me you will love this story like i fell in love with this love the person who wrote this wonderful paragraph. write me if you can.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When i first read this book i couldnt put it down. Because of all the adventure and how the author makes it all come to life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is Super I read it in 1 hour I just couldn't put it down. It was very magical my mind went soaring on a magical adventure! I really liked the fairy, it was awesome she could change into anything!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Is it a dull and rainy day and your extremely bored? Then this is a book for you. It is a marvelous book to read. Do you want to be taken to a magical filled land, with a tiny fairy named Ethelinda, a tiny fairy with one big problem? Do you like jewels? I know I do. Do you want them coming out of your mouth like Rosella? Or would you want bugs falling out of your mouth like Myrtle? This is a book that will keep you going the whole way through. Would you want a chance to keep a billion and one jewels? Rosella didn¿t. To find out the answers to these questions you will have to read the book. I believe this is the clearest book I¿ve ever read. It paints a perfect picture in your head. For example there is a lazy sister named Myrtle. There are marvelous jewels like a red ruby and a sparkling pearl. There is a tiny fairy named Ethelinda. Are you ready to grab some wings and fly to another land? If so then read The Fairy¿s Mistake by Gail Carson Levine author of Elle Enchanted, a new berry honor book. The Fairy¿s Mistake is so good you will not be able to put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is GREAT!! I have read it 5 times!! When you pick up this book you just have to read it over and over and over and over!!! ^_^
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this is an excellent story, I will even be in a play based on this Fairy Tale. I LOVE IT!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Book is my favoriate book ever it is a sensational story about a fairy and her BIG mistake the story is so good i do not want to give it away so PLEAsE read it you will NOT be dissipointed!! -Savanna
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a great book for everyone. It's a book about a girl named Rosella who gets granted by a fairy. Jewels fall out of her mouth. Then a prince marries her because of her jewels. He makes her talk so much because he wanted a jewel palace ,and she gets sick.Then a fairy talks to him and everything is better. I won't tell you the rest of the ending. You would have to read the book your self. You will enjoy the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was good. I liked it alot. I will be acting out a part for the class.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book! infact it was my favorite out of all the 'Princess Tales' books. I also enjoyed the humor in it. There was a fun twist in the book and that is different from other books! It is really funny! It is full of life and characters! Only reading the first three chapters doesn't give you much idea of what type of book it is, and I suggest to Colleen that you read the rest of the book and see what a great book it is! It is a fabulous book and i recommend it to all. it is solid proof that Gail Levine is great at writing! A true 5-star book! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
It made a great addition to my collection to the Princess Tales Series!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the best thing since 'Ella Enchanted!' It will really cast a spell on you as it did me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Fairy's Mistake was an awful book.I only read 3 chapters and I was distgusted with it. It's exactly like another fairy tale I've heard of. She's nice to and old lady who's a fairy and makes jewels fall out of her mouth, the prince see's her with jewels falling out of her mouth, thinks '$$' and marries her to be rich!!!!! I can't believe the author of ' Ella Enchanted' could write something so shallow!!! Now I don't know what to expect from her other books