April 1st 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
E ARC from Netgalley.com
In the third volume of the Wide-Awake Princess series, we follow the tale from the point of view of Gwendolyn's sister Annie. Her friend Snow White has asked for her help, so she sets off after Gwendolyn's wedding with Prince Liam and several other retainers to see Snow White and also put an evil witch who eats children in a tower in the forest. Along the way, she starts to realize that she is being targeted by another evil witch, who is sending angry crows to follow her. Snow White's problem, now that Marissa, her evil stepmother is gone, is that her father wants her to marry right away. While Maitland really likes her, he made some unfortunate remarks, so Snow White and Annie set up challenges for the variety of suitors who show up. Maitland does well, and Liam and Annie become even closer. However, a confluence of evil forces nearly destroys not only Annie but also Snow White's castle.
Strengths: I loved A Question of Magic, and Baker certainly does a great princess tale. These are becoming more popular in my library, probably due to the television show Once Upon a Time. The ending of this cleverly brought together a lot of elements in the tale.
Weaknesses: While Annie is still fairly fierce, this didn't have quite the twists or adventure that the other books have had.
I seem to have missed the second book, so will have to look up this one over the summer.
Baker, E.D. Unlocking the Spell (Wide-Awake Princess #2)
October 2nd 2012 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
"Now that Annie has helped her sister Gwendolyn (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty) wake up from the 100-year curse by finding her beloved prince, you would think that things would get back to normal. Think again! That beloved prince, Beldegard, is stuck in the body of a bear and the only way that Annie can be free of the two irritating lovebirds is to help-by finding the evil dwarf who cast the spell. Luckily, Annie has assistance from handsome prince Liam, and she has many tricks up her non-magical sleeve. "
And have to laugh: I've been having nice conversations with several authors (including Geoff Herbach and Kevin Waltman) about language in books, and had to suffer through meetings about students getting suspended for foul language (two days is standard in my building), and then I saw this in the newspaper:
Prince Swearing Off Swear Words
The 1984 song Erotic City, for example, is peppered with the F-word. “Did you ever hear Muhammad Ali curse?” he said in the interview.
“Would you curse in front of your kids? To your mother? Marsha (Ambrosius), Lianne (La Havas), Janelle (Monae) — they’re all my sisters.
We shouldn’t curse at them. We need to treat all of them, and all people, like royalty.”
It's about setting an example, whether it is in person or in the written word. If we could just get Meatloaf on board with a clean language initiative! (And yes, Prince and Meatloaf are both rock singers, youngsters!)