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*An Undone Fairy Tale* by Ian Lendler, illustrated by Whitney Martin

An Undone Fairy Tale
by Ian Lendler, illustrated by Whitney Martin
ages 4-8 32 pages Simon & Schuster August 2005 Hardcover    

I am only going to say this once, so please listen carefully.

An Undone Fairy Tale is the most imaginative and original children’s book I have ever read and reviewed, and folks, I’ve read a lot of them.

First-time author (hard to believe!) Ian Lendler has created a truly unique and utterly hilarious book about a common fairy tale with a real twist – it’s not quite done. That’s because the story’s “illustrator” Ned is making the pictures up as we read along, and he can’t quite keep up (so read slowly, please!). Therefore, what should be a simple story of a brave knight named Sir Wilbur rescuing the lovely pie-making princess from the tower her evil stepfather has locked her in becomes a laugh-out-loud, hysterical romp involving fish wearing tutus, attacking pretzels, purple popsicle walls and all sorts of not-quite-right elements to the story that will have children and their parents howling with laughter.

Accompanied by delightfully funny illustrations by Whitney Martin, who also illustrated the George Foreman children’s book Let George Do It! and spent ten years working in animation for Disney and Fox TV, An Undone Fairy Tale transcends the competition with a really wild concept that, at least to my knowledge, has not been done in book form. I immediately thought of those great cartoons from years ago, “Fractured Fairy Tales,” and this book rivals those in wit, style and colorful flair. Plus, I don’t recall those cartoons ever featuring monkeys in knight costumes bearing fish and banana swords.

Throughout the tale of the princess and the knight, we are implored not to read too fast, because poor Ned the artist just can’t keep up with us, and the results are a crazy mix of slapstick and resourcefulness (hey, you CAN ride a fish into battle!).

I just loved this book, and highly, no SKY-HIGHLY recommend it for children and adults of any age who love a good old fashioned fairy tale, fraught with fracture and filled with fanciful fun.  

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  Marie D. Jones/2005 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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