The Fairy's Return

The Fairy's Return

4.7 4
by Gail Carson Levine, Mark Elliott

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Boy meets princess, and it's love at first sight. Both laugh at the same jokes. Both are named after birds. His name is Robin, hers is Lark. Could there ever have been a more perfect match?

But alas! King Harrumphrey won't let Lark marry a baker's son. And Robin is betrothed to someone else.

Now toss in Robin's nonsense-talking brothers, Nat and Matt, their


Boy meets princess, and it's love at first sight. Both laugh at the same jokes. Both are named after birds. His name is Robin, hers is Lark. Could there ever have been a more perfect match?

But alas! King Harrumphrey won't let Lark marry a baker's son. And Robin is betrothed to someone else.

Now toss in Robin's nonsense-talking brothers, Nat and Matt, their versifying father, and Ethelinda, the fairy who wrought havoc in The Fairy's Mistake, and you've got a "nutcrazical" situation!

A hilarious spoof on "The Golden Goose" by the Brothers Grimm, The Fairy's Return is the sixth Princess Tale from beloved Newbery Honor author and master fairy tale reteller Gail Carson Levine.

Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
The real draw of these attractively designed books is the inventive use of folkloric elements woven into charming, original stories.
Publishers Weekly
A pair of titles join Gail Carson Levine's Princess Tales series, illus. by Mark Elliott: The Fairy's Return, a spoof on "The Golden Goose"; and For Biddle's Sake, based on a little-known German tale, "Puddocky," about a girl who must put her own magic to work in order to fight off her guardian fairy's penchant for turning people into toads. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Light and breezy additions to the series. In For Biddle's Sake, young Parsley is turned into a toad by Bombina the fairy, and must convince Prince Tansy, the long-suffering younger brother of mean twins, to propose marriage to her in order to break the spell. In The Fairy's Return, a princess and a baker's son are infatuated with one another; Lark loves that Robin dares to joke with her, and Robin loves that she enjoys his jokes. Both fathers are against the friendship, and so years pass, until they are 15 and can finally wed after a fairy helps Robin perform three impossible tasks. Elements of various fairy tales, including "The Golden Goose," "Rapunzel," and "Puddocky," make their way into these funny stories. Eccentric and misguided characters abound; Robin's father, who fancies himself a genius poet, comes up with non-rhyming gems like, "Royalty and commoners must never mix./Remember this, or you will be in a predicament." Kids will love figuring what word he should have used in each poem, they'll cheer for the plucky heroines, and they'll relish the fairy-tale endings.-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Princess Tales Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.62(d)
620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Once upon a time in the kingdom of Biddle a baker's son and a princess fell in love. This is how it came about --

Robin, the baker's son, rode to Biddle Castle in the back of the bakery cart. His older brothers, Nat and Matt, sat on the driver's bench with their father, Jake, who was a poet as well as a baker.

Robin began a joke. "What's a dwarf's -- "

"Son," Jake said,

"A joker is a fool,
Who never went to a place of

Nat said, "Jokers are dottydaftish." He had a knack for inventing words.

Matt said, "Jokes are dumdopety." He had a knack for inventing words too.

Robin hated being thought stupid. "Jokes aren't dumb or dopey, and I'm not dotty or daft. If you'd ever listen to a whole joke, you'd see." If they did, they'd realize that jokers were just as smart as poets and word inventors.

Jake just shook his head. Robin was the first moron in family history. Not only did he make up jokes, he also gave things away. Why only a week ago, on the lad's eleventh birthday to be exact, Robin had given a roll to a beggar. For free!

Generosity was against family policy. Jake had told his sons repeatedly never to give anyone something for nothing. He had learned this from his own father, a genius who could make up three poems at once.

The bakery cart rumbled across the Biddle Castle drawbridge. At the door to the Royal kitchen, Jake reined in their nag, Horsteed, who had been named by Nat.

When all the bread had been carried into the kitchen, Jake began to chat with the Royal Chief Cook. As Jake often said,

"A nice customer chat
Putsa coin in your bonnet."

Nat chatted with the Royal First Assistant Cook, Matt chatted with the Royal Second Assistant Cook.

Robin began to tell his dwarf joke to the Royal Third Assistant Cook, but the Royal Third Assistant Cook interrupted with his recipe for pickled goose feet with jellied turnips.

Robin disliked jellied anything, so after he'd heard the recipe three times, he said, "How interesting. Please excuse me." He slipped out the Royal Kitchen Door and into the Royal Garden, where commoners weren't allowed.

But he didn't know that.

Chapter Two

Dame Cloris, the Royal Governess, sat primly upright on a bench in a small meadow in the garden. Her lace cap had slipped over her face, and it fluttered as she breathed. She was fast asleep.

Princess Lark sat on the grass nearby, her favorite ball a few feet away. Shewished she had someone to play with.

Yesterday had been her eleventh birthday, and her birthday party had been awful, just like every other party she'd ever had. The guests had been children of the castle nobility, and the party hadbegun with a game of hide-and-seek. Lark had taken the first turn as It. While she counted, she wished with all her might that this time her guests would really play with her.

But when she opened her eyes, she saw that no one had hidden. Oh, they were pretending to hide. Aldrich, the Earl of Pildenue's son, was standing next to a tree, with one foot concealed behind it. And his sister, Cornelia, had stationed herself behind a bush that only came up to her waist.

The children wouldn't hide because they were afraid Lark would fail to find them. And not one of them dared to let a princess fail at anything.

She had told them she wouldn't mind. She had also said she wouldn't mind being It forever. But it didn't matter what she said.

The next activity, baseball, was even worse. When Lark was at bat, if she hit the ball at all -- a yard, a foot, half an inch -- no one tried to catch it. They thought it would be disrespectful to make a princess out, so Lark had to dash around the bases for a home run she hadn't earned.

When the other team was at bat, they tried not to hit the ball, because it would never do for their team to beat Lark's.

Lark declared the game over after one inning and declared the party over too. She ate her birthday cake alone -- the single bite she was able to get down before she ran to her room, sobbing.

And now here she was, in the garden with her ball and a sleeping governess. She watched idly as Robin approached. She noticed that his jerkin was plain brown, without even the tiniest jewel. How unusual. And there was a hole in his breeches.

She sat up straight. His feet were bare. He was a commoner!

Lark had never spoken to a commoner. Maybe he'd be different.

Robin had no idea who the old lady and the lass were. He only knew the lass looked sad. Maybe a joke would cheer her up, if she'd let him tell it.

"Hello," he said. "What's a dwarf's ... " She wasn't interrupting. He began to feel nervous. " ... favorite food?"

She smiled up at him. He hadn't bowed, which was wonderful. But she had no idea what the answer was. The king of the dwarfs had visited Biddle last year, but she couldn't remember what he'd eaten. "Potatoes?"

Robin's heart started to pound. She was going to listen to the punch line! "No. Strawberry shortcake." He waited.

"Why straw-" Then she knew. She started laughing. A dwarf! Strawberry shortcake!

Robin laughed too, for sheer delight.

She liked the joke! He sat down next to her and tried another one ...

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

Meet the Author

Gail Carsn Levine grew up in New York City and has been writing all her life. Her first novel, Ella Enchanted, was a Newbery Honor Book. Levine's other books include Fairest, a New York Times bestseller, Publishers Weekly Best Book, and School Library Journal Best Book; Dave at Night, an ALA Notable Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; Ever, a New York Times bestseller; 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 book Writer to Writer, the poetry book Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems, and the picture books Betsy Who Cried Wolf and Betsy Red Hoodie, illustrated by Scott Nash. Gail and her husband, David, live in New York's Hudson Valley.

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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The Fairy's Return 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LOVE this book. I totally love any of Gail Carson Levine's books. I own all of them except 'Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly'. And I shall soon own this because my birthday is coming up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it's funny and has a nice ending that leaves all of the characters happy.It also has the same fairy from the fairy's mistake. perfect gift for the fantasy book lover.another great levine book!!!!:)
Guest More than 1 year ago
it's kewl you'll want to read it again and again and again and ... oh you get the idea!