Once Upon a Marigold
By: Ferris, Jean
San Diego: Harcourt, Inc., 2002
Grades 5-8, Ages 10 and up, Book Level 5.7, Accelerated Reader Points: 8
Some jokes for you:
What fairy tale is about a beautiful girl who bakes bread?
Beauty and the Yeast
Why don’t people like Pinocchio?
Because he’s a little stiff and has a wooden smile.
How did King Arthur read at night?
With a knight light
What kind of music does a dragon play?
What two things can’t a giant eat for dinner?
Breakfast and lunch
What do you get when a giant sneezes?
Out of the way.
A young man, a princess, young love, and a few jokes. Nothing could be simpler, right? Well, not exactly. Not when the young man’s adopted godfather is a troll who is lobbying to take over part of the Tooth Fairy’s waning business venture. Not when the princess’ mother is trying to have her either married off or killed (and in this case, it’s a toss-up as to which would be the better). And especially not when the couple’s only contact has been via pigeon mail—and the notes broken into 5-8 word pieces due to a limit on how much a pigeon can carry across the river. Add to the mix a few bad jokes, a fairy birth-gift of sensitivity gone awry and what do you get? A hilariously fractured fairy tale that is a page-turner to the very last. After all, what else would you expect from a story subtitled “part comedy, part love story, part everything-but-the-kitchen-sink.”?