Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Review - Violet and Victor Write the Most Fabulous Fairy Tale

Violet and Victor Write the Most Fabulous Fairy Tale
by Alice Kuipers
illustrated by Bethanie Deeney Murguia
Date: 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

Violet and Victor work together to write a truly enchanted tale!

Violet is determined to write the most fabulous fairy tale that has ever been imagined! Her twin, Victor, is not in the mood for make-believe.

"I was born in a castle!" Violet says.
"You were born in a hospital," Victor replies.

But when an evil witch arrives in Violet's story, will Victor help write an ending that saves the day? Join the twins on an adventure through Fairy Tale Kingdom as they celebrate the joy of storytelling and reading!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a really weird book for me, because I loved the illustrations, but absolutely hated the story. Actually, the story itself wasn't bad; it was the characters that really ruined it for me.

Victor is a pedantic little twit who keeps trying to ruin Violet's fairy tale. She ends up salvaging it only by stroking his fragile male ego (making him a prince in the story and letting him have his way). I was pretty appalled, actually; this is a children's book that seems to teach that girls should defer to the wishes of the males in their lives. What makes it even worse is that Violet's the older twin; so, basically, she's teaching her little brother that he can be a brat and get away with it because women will always let him win.

No thanks. The story is definitely not for me. But the illustrations... See, this is where I'm conflicted. They are so colourful, creative, and interesting that I just wanted to keep looking at the pages. The illustrator used a variety of techniques, and the note at the end explains how she was inspired by European as well as Australian Aboriginal artwork to come up with the pictures for the book. I've never seen anything quite like it, and I loved the overall look of the book.

So it was really a mixed bag for me. As it was, it just seemed like a great example of male fragility and how our society teaches girls to coddle it... which is not a message I want to see in children's books.

Premise: 1/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 5/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.67 out of 5

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