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Sleeping Ugly by Jane Yolen

Sleeping Ugly (1981)

by Jane Yolen

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Thus far, of all the books I've read by Yolen, I'm not disappointed. This is a quick, lively banter- filled tale of the beautiful princess Miserella who remains beautiful despite the ugliness inside, a magical fairy, and a not-too beautiful Plain Jane who has a loving nature, but a very plain countenance.

When Miseralla's terrible ugly actions upset the fairy, mistakenly the three are all thrown into a deep, deep sleep. Along comes a handsome prince who must choose to kiss the right lady.

The illustrations are lovely. I enjoyed the humorous rendition of this fairytale. ( )
  Whisper1 | May 19, 2014 |
Sleeping Ugly by Jane Yolen. Illustrated by Diane Stanley. Published by Library of Congress Cataloging. Copyright 1981. pg. 64

Type of Book: Fairytale

Summary: Princess Miserella was beautiful. But inside she was mean and worthless. She was mean to animals. She lied and never said thank you or please. In the same kingdom a poor orphan lived named Plain Jane. She was super kind and loved animals. Miserella rode off mad one day. She was lost and she hit the horse so he ran off. She was lost and she tripped over a little old lady. She thought little old ladies in the woods were fairies so she demanded her to tell her the way home. She lead Miserella deep into the woods. She found her way to Plain Jane's house. Miserella and the lady walked into the house and Miserella demanded to go home. Her reward would be that she would make Jane her maid. Jane said her home was all of their homes. So the fairy let Jane have 3 wishes. The fairy did so things to Miserella and Jane used her wishes to get Miserella out of the trouble. The fairy went to put Miserella to sleep but put all of them to sleep. They slept through many years in this cottage. A prince named Jojo stepped into the house. Jojo wanted to practice before kissing the beautiful princess. So he practiced on the fairy. He then kissed Jane. As they woke up the prince was about to kiss Miserella but Jane said I wish he loved me. The wish was granted. So they lived in the cottage together and used Miserella as a coat rack and never let anyone kiss her.

Response: It is a spin off of sleeping beauty. But you get to see that even if you are beautiful you might be ugly inside but people want the looks. They don't look at personality. This might help kids understand not to go based on the outside but the niceness of people.
  singleton2012 | Apr 4, 2014 |
Princess Miserella was a beautiful princess but on the inside wasn't so beautiful. Plain Jane was a simple personality that was delightful, but wasn't so beautiful. A meeting with a fairy changes their lives forever. This is a good story because it teaches a good lesson and moral which is that to not judge someone from their looks. This book would be for upper elementary.
  alyssahagen | Dec 8, 2013 |
A rather amusing retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story, in which the Beauty learns a lesson about the proper way to treat people. Or, would learn a less if she ever woke up.... ( )
  empress8411 | Nov 29, 2012 |
In line with other popular tradition-twisting fairy tales, the true protagonist of Jane Yolen’s Sleeping Ugly is not the Princess Miserella – whose name gives away her disposition even if her beauty does not – but the gentle and kind Plain Jane. The curses cast on Miserella are direct results of her own selfish and mean-spirited actions, and her insistence on testing the patience a fairy with a quick temper. Yolen uses the conventions of fairy tales to delightful ends, such as when she defines an unusual word in an aside to the reader that “A huff is not a kind of carriage. It is a kind of temper tantrum. Her usual kind.” While the illustrations add interesting details to the story, including the revelation that Prince Jojo is dressed in a sweatsuit, they are not essential to the story but instead provide convenient places to pause throughout this more advanced easy reader. This intelligent and witty book would be a good addition to both public and school libraries. ( )
1 vote HilarySI624 | Oct 19, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Alexandria LaFaye, Ph.D. (Children's Literature)
Does using a sleeping princess as a conversation piece sound weird to you? Well, almost everything about Jane Yolen's farcical story is intended to turn fairy tale motifs on their ear. The beautiful princess is rotten to the core and ends up lost in the forest. She's assisted by a fairy, but ungrateful. They call on Plain Jane for assistance and she gladly helps. For her kindness, the fairy grants Jane three wishes which Jane uses to help the awful princess. The princess's lack of gratitude is responsible for putting them into a deep sleep. When a prince comes to rescue them, he chooses Jane as the object of his affection. He has no money, so they live out their life in Jane's cottage with the sleeping princess as a conversation piece. This irreverant look at fairy tales still has the prince saving the damsel in distress, but love is no longer based on beauty or status. Stanley's playful illustrations heighten the humor of the book and give it a distinctly modern setting in the end. 1997 (orig. 1995), PaperStar, $7.56 and $5.95. Ages 7 to 10.
added by kthomp25 | editChildren's Literature, Alexandria LaFaye
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When beautiful Princess Miserella, Plain Jane, and a fairy fall under a sleeping spell, a prince undoes the spell in a surprising way.
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When beautiful Princess Miserella, Plain Jane, and a fairy fall under a sleeping spell, a prince undoes the spell in a surprising way.

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