For Biddle's sake

Author Levine, Gail Carson.
Language English
New York: HarperCollins, 2002


In this humorous retelling of Andrew Lang's "Puddocky," a young maiden who has been transformed into a toad by a jealous fairy relies on her newly honed magical abilities to charm a prince into marriage.

Subjects :

  • Magic
  • Fiction
  • Fairy tales
  • Princes

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Author Illustrator(s) :

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State & Provincial Reading List :

  • Garden State Children's Book Award, 2005; Nominee New Jersey

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Reading Measurement Programs:

0060000953, 0060000945
HarperCollins (New York:) 2002.

Accelerated Reader
Interest Level Middle Grade
Book Level 4.4
Accelerated Reader Points 2

Lexile, MetaMetrics, Inc.

Lexile Measure 770
Accelerated Reader Points

Reading Counts-Scholastic
Interest Level 3-5
Reading Level 4
Accelerated Reader Points 5

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Reviews :

Carolyn Phelan (Booklist, Aug. 1, 2002 (Vol. 98, No. 22))
Reviewed with Gail Carson Levine's The Fairy's Return. Once upon a time, when a young girl asked a librarian for a princess book, she meant a traditional fairy tale featuring a princess. Now, as likely as not, she wants a book from Levine's series the Princess Tales, small volumes that borrow elements from folk-tales to create lively, new stories. In Fairy's Return, a princess falls in love with the third son of a baker, a young man whose jokes make her laugh. With both parents resisting the marriage, it takes determination, imagination, and the intervention of a wish-granting fairy to bring this couple to the point of "happily ever after." For Biddle's Sake introduces Parsley, a sweet-natured girl raised by the fairy Bombina, who struggles with an obsessive drive to turn people into toads. After many years of relative control, she flies into a fit of rage and transforms her beloved Parsley. Only a marriage proposal from a human can return Parsley to her previous form. A few black-and-white drawings illustrate the stories, but the real draw of these attractively designed books is the inventive use of folkloric elements woven into charming, original stories. Category: Books for Middle Readers--Fiction. 2002, HarperCollins, $9.99, $14.89. Gr. 3-5.
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollins (New York:), PUBLISHED: c2002.)

Terri L. Lent (Children's Literature)
Levine adds another chapter to "The Princess Tales" series with this retelling of Andrew Lang's Puddocky. Parsley, a young girl with a beautiful green smile, will eat nothing but parsley that only grows in the garden of Bombina, a fairy. All is well until Bombina is released from the fairy queen's dungeon for turning humans into toads. Meanwhile, at Biddle Castle, twin princes Randolph and Rudolph cause all kinds of trouble and blame everything on their younger brother, Tansy. Rudolph, Randolph and Tansy are out one day and meet Parsley at Bombina's fairy home. Tansy and Parsley are immediately enchanted with each other but Bombina becomes jealous and zaps a spell on Tansy to turn him in to a toad. Unfortunately, Parsley jumps in the way of the spell and becomes the frog. The only way for Parsley to return to human form is if a young man proposes marriage to her of his own free will. As in all fairy tales, the evil twin princes get what they deserve and Parsley returns to human form after Tansy falls in love with the frog. Teens enthralled by fairy tales by the author of Ella Enchanted will fall in love with her latest story. 2003, G. P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin Putnam Books, $16.99. Ages 8 to 12.
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollins (New York:), PUBLISHED: c2002.)

Kirkus (Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2002 (Vol. 70, No. 18))
Levine continues her winning series of Princess Tales (The Princess Test and The Fairy Mistake, both 1999), creating two new stories from well-known classics. In For Biddle's Sake, elements of Rapunzel, the Frog Prince, and various quest tales recombine. Parsley, so named because that's all she wants to eat, forces her dad to steal it from the very disagreeable fairy Bombina. When she catches him-just after she gets out of jail for the crime of not getting along with humans-she takes Parsley to live with her. Parsley grows up so charming she even warms Bombina's heart; it's that smile, even if her teeth are green. Bombina's specialty is turning people and things into toads, and one day, quite accidentally, she turns Parsley into one. Parsley, meanwhile, is smitten with Tansy, the young princeling of the kingdom of Biddle, whose hopes for ruling wisely and well are thwarted by the fact that his obnoxious twin brothers are older. The king sends the boys on a quest, Parsley assists Tansy while in her toad guise, Tansy falls in love-Parsley's smile is lovely even when she's a toad-and breaks the spell, and Bombina even manages not to toadify the twins. The Fairy's Return conflates the weeping princess and the sticky goose. Robin the baker's son falls in love with Princess Lark, but they cannot marry because he's a commoner. Robin makes wonderful jokes that his father and twin brothers never let him finish. They are poets and wordsmiths and consider Robin simpleminded. (The twins make up words. Their father spouts couplets, wherein the last word is always a synonym for the one that would rhyme. Readers will have a fine time with that one.) The fairy Ethelinda has been flying for years, afraid to bungle her human interaction, but manages to solve Robin and Lark's dilemma with judicious use of the sticky goose and her ability to consume vast quantities of food and drink. This is all done in deliriously funny and well-wrought prose, full of sly wit and clever asides. Getting all the references is not required for laughing aloud. 2002, HarperCollins, $9.99. Category: Fractured fairy tales. Ages 7 to 12. © 2002 Kirkus Reviews/VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollins (New York:), PUBLISHED: c2002.)

Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly)
A pair of titles join Gail Carson Levine's Princess Tales series, illus. by Mark Elliott: The Fairy's Return, a spoof on "The Golden Goose"; and For Biddle's Sake, based on a little-known German tale, "Puddocky," about a girl who must put her own magic to work in order to fight off her guardian fairy's penchant for turning people into toads. (Oct.)
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollins (New York:), PUBLISHED: c2002.)

Virginia Gleaton (The Lorgnette - Heart of Texas Reviews (Vol. 15, No. 3))
This story revolves around a fairy and a young girl named Parsley, so named because she only eats parsley. The young girl is given to a fairy named Bombina. Parsley takes up for the youngest prince, Tansy, over his twin brothers. Bombina turns the girl into a toad, which is the fairy's on-going problem--turning people into toads! Finally, Parsley helps Tansy, and they are married. This is a reversed princess kissing a toad story--this time a prince must kiss a toad. (Princess Tales) Fiction. Grades 4-6. 2002, HarperCollins, 104p., $14.89. Ages 9 to 12.
(PUBLISHER: HarperCollins (New York:), PUBLISHED: c2002.)

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Publication Details:

  Publisher ISBN Notes
New York: HarperCollins, 2002

Media Type: Language Material
104 p.:
PZ8.L4793 ([Fic])
"The princess tales."

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