Once upon a time a young girl wanted revenge. But first, she wanted to be beautiful.
Twelve-year-old Bettony has read enough stories that begin with ‘Once upon a time’ to know what happens to the ugly stepsisters at the end, and she’s determined to escape that fate by any means necessary—even by magic.
Unfortunately, when it comes to magic, there is no place for regret, refunds, or exchanges. Even if you accidentally turn your older sister into a toad.
If Bettony wants her Happily Ever After to end well, she’s going to have to find a way to turn her sister back into a person before their mother finds out she’s been dabbling with magic and grounds her for life.
Tracking down the family magic turns out to be surprisingly easy. Now, if only it came with directions . . .
I stopped reading children's books a long time ago, slowly drifting from the MG section to the YA section. But every once in a while, I go back to the books geared for younger readers, whether to re-read something by Andrew Clements or to satisfy my curiosity of new MG releases. I love books to a fault though - while I've come across lots of horrible YA books, a can never give an MG book less than three stars. They're just so fun to read, easy, and make me nostalgic.
The Trouble With Toads is a more upper-level MG, in that space between MG and YA. For tweens, I guess. Anyway, it was super-fun to read, light and humorous. It's about a girl who is afraid of becoming the ugly stepsister, and so she turns her stepsister into a toad. By accident, of course.
This book was absolutely lovely. Delicious, in fact. But first, what I did not like about the book. I'm not going to complain about the style of writing or the plot pace or the vocabulary, because all of that was just fine and dandy. The book does not end. It jut stops, almost abruptly. It's a semi cliffhanger, foggy. Thankfully, there's a sequel coming out this summer, so I can't really complain :)
As for the good. I loved that the story was a twist to a classic fairy tale, since I love fairy tale retellings more than the original story itself. Also, look at that cover. It's positively oozing cuteness :D I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves reading younger kids' books, or just want a fun, interesting beach read.
Author Danyelle Leafty
Danyelle Leafty writes upper MG and YA fantasy, and is the author of THE FAIRY GODMOTHER DILEMMA series. Danyelle has always loved fairy tales, and prefers stories where someone gets eaten, or at the very least, transmogrified. Much of her inspiration has come from fairy tales, because as G.K. Chesterton so aptly states, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
In her spare time, she collects dragons, talking frogs, and fairy godmothers. She also collects books, and one day hopes to make a house out of them. She enjoys learning languages, fiddling with her harp, and perfecting the fine art of mothering. (It’s a lot like trying to herd chickens during a lightning storm while a goat stampede is going on.)
One of her heroes is Albert Einstein, particularly for the following quote: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The most important thing is not to stop questioning.”
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