Reading Beauty


When a curse set by a fairy threatens a death-like sleep via paper cut, Princess Lex decides she is unable to face a life with out her books.  It is up to her (and her faithful puppy Prince) to break the spell and bring books back to her people. Set in the universe of the acclaimed Interstellar Cinderella, this irrepressible fairy tale retelling will charm young readers with its brave heroine, its star-studded setting, and its hilarious, heartwarming happy ending.

The rhyming text is utterly charming, as are the brilliant and colourful illustrations by Meg Hunt.

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Reading Beauty

Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Meg Hunt

(Chronicle Books)

Reading Beauty is a fun and futuristic retelling of the well-known fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.  In a galaxy and time far, far away, Princess Lex lives in outer space and reads, every day, all day. She has even trained her dog Prince to bring her more books.  However, one morning she awakes to find all her books have disappeared. Her patients explain that a fairy has put a curse on her and that a paper cut would induce endless sleep.  For that reason her parents had hidden all her books.
Princess Lex and Prince decide to journey across the universe to seek out the fairy to try and persuade her to life the curse. In so doing, she and Prince convince the fairy that reading is such a pleasure.  She and the fairy then turn a galaxy barren of books into a fabulous place of reading.  All the books are brought back to Princess Lex’s planet.
The story is told in funny and engaging rhyming verse, and the book is resplendent with bold illustrations.  This is a fresh, enjoyable re-working of a favourite and traditional fairy tale. Furthermore, the playful text provides, futuristic images of faraway galaxies and of course a plucky heroine.
For those wanting picture books featuring rhyming text, why not try Child of Galaxies and the companion book to Reading beauty Interstellar Cinderella.  Both are available in the Bookwagon on-line book store.
Check out this wonderful animated read-along by author Deborah Underwood here



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