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Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-century Fairy Tale

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Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-century Fairy Tale Reviews | Toppsta

Book Rating: 5 based on 9
9 Reviews
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Young Annabel lives in the 1950s and dreams of a future with jetpacks, flying cars and robots. However, little does she know that she is living under an evil spell that could mean she has no future at all...

When the curse is fulfilled on her 16th birthday and she falls asleep for 1000 years, her house is overgrown by a magnificent rose tree. A young explorer called Zoe discovers the story of Sleeping Beauty, but can she find Annabel in time to lift the curse and show her what the future actually looks like?

Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-century Fairy Tale Reviews | Toppsta

9781843652915

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6th September '16
I read it to Bobbin aged 8 aged 8 & to Piglet aged 4 aged 4
Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-century Fairy Tale 9781843652915
5 stars
An absolutely stunning book. As the title notes, this is a retelling of the traditional 'Sleeping Beauty' fairy tale. The story is not contrived, which can happen with such attempts - the language is wonderful, and the plot is engaging. I must admit that I have recently tried to read some traditional tales, but the versions I have, have been dreadfully dull. This story is not and it is refreshing to see a tale with an all female cast and where the heroine is not passively waiting for a male hero to rescue her - we need more of these books!
I also love the illustrations, which are by the same person who did the drawings for 'Iggy Peck, Architect' and 'Rosie Revere, Engineer'. If you like this story, you will probably love these books as well. 
My children loves this book, and I highly recommend it.
2nd September '16
I read it to Amelie aged 4 aged 4
Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-century Fairy Tale 9781843652915
5 stars
This is a great take on the traditional fairy tale, but with some magical modern twists.  It's really freshened up the story making it more exciting for a younger generation.  We love the fact that it doesn't have a romantic ending, and that it's a tale of two loving aunts sacrifice to look after their niece.
My daughter really enjoyed this and loved looking through the detailed drawings.
2nd September '16
I read it to Brobee aged 4 aged 4
Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-century Fairy Tale 9781843652915
5 stars
This book is a wonderfully imaginative retelling of the traditional story. It is set in the 1950s, which gives it a really retro style and then moves forward 1000 years (the illustrator has kept the 50s style though, which looks really cool). The story is quite mature so would probably be more suited to slightly older readers. We liked the fact that Sleeping Beauty was saved by a friend, rather than a prince. It felt more contemporary. It's definitely a book to read again and again.
15th October '16
I read it to IslaC aged 5 aged 5
Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-century Fairy Tale 9781843652915
4 stars
gorgeous book where Sleeping beauty is rescued by friendship and a love of science, rather than waiting for a prince to come by.
15th October '16
Anna-M of Basingstoke read it themselves aged 9 aged 9
Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-century Fairy Tale 9781843652915
4 stars
I enjoyed the story because it was fun to read. The big pictures showing the characters really helped me to understand the storyline. I wished there was more of the story to read. The drawings inside are really good. 
7th September '16
I read it to LucasChops aged 5 aged 5
Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-century Fairy Tale 9781843652915
4 stars
Sleeping Beauty is a tale we are all familiar with (Lucas has a version involving dinosaurs which still remains his favourite) and this book is broadly true to the original but with a few modern tweaks.  No kings/queens or palaces here but a girl being raised by two "aunts" in the 50's who pricks her finger on the needle of a record player.  Annabel dreams of the future and so seems quite pleased to wake up 1,000 years later.  Equally we have no dashing prince but a girl called Zoe, who is interested in the history of the mysterious rose bush that has remained untouched amongst massive building developments for 1,000 years, and wakes Annabel just before time runs out.  A bit of a statement about girl power really and I think Lucas was slightly confused by the lack of any male characters!  The illustrations are charming and full of super detail but it's not going to overtake the dinosaurs in the popularity stakes here.  In fact, I think we may gift this to one of Lucas' female friends!
13th September '16
I read it to MollyB aged 12 aged 12 , to CharlieB9 aged 9 aged 9 & to HarryB aged 6 aged 6
Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-century Fairy Tale 9781843652915
4 stars
A truly gorgeous book with an imaginative re-telling of Sleeping Beauty set in the 1950s and then 1000 years later. 
No castles or royalty here, instead a young girl called Annabel who lives with her aunts and is obsessed about science fiction and dreaming about the future. A curse is placed on her and on her 16th birthday she is pricked by a needle and falls asleep for a thousand years. One of her aunts turns into a rose bush which protects her as the world around her changes. A thousand years later a girl discovers the story of Sleeping Beauty in a library (great to see books are still relevant in 1000 years time!) and believing the story to be true she tracks down Annabel and wakes her just in time to break the curse. 
We loved the story being all-female and giving off the message that a girl does not necessarily need a Prince Charming to 'rescue' her. We would have liked the story to have continued a bit longer with Zoe showing Annabel life in 2950 but there was a happy ending nonetheless.  The drawings are superb with brilliant mid-century style. This is one to treasure.
9th September '16
I read it to AvaW aged 3 aged 3
Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-century Fairy Tale 9781843652915
4 stars
We enjoyed this twist on the story of sleeping beauty. I think it is aimed more at 4years onwards though, but my daughter sat through the story and enjoyed the illustrations, and she liked that the girl Zoe found sleeping beauty and woke her up. 
2nd September '16
I read it to rsa aged 6 aged 6
Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-century Fairy Tale 9781843652915
3 stars
It is an interesting retelling of the traditional fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty. My six year old said 'wow' when he saw the cover of the young girl surrounded by robots. However, he was a little disappointed that there were only a few robots in the actual story itself. Beautifully illustrated, however, we both thought it fell a little flat. Perhaps better for a younger audience.
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About Lynn Roberts

David Roberts was born in Liverpool. He studied fashion before moving to Hong Kong to work as a fashion illustrator. Since returning to the UK, he has illustrated numerous books, and was runner-up for the prestigious Mother Goose Award for children's illustration. His titles include the Dirty Bertie series, Julia Donaldson's Tyrannosaurus Drip and many Phili...

More about Lynn Roberts

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