Friday, November 8, 2019

Review - Sleeping Bronty

Sleeping Bronty (Once Before Time)
by Christy Webster
illustrated by Gladys Jose
Date: 2020
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Sleeping Bronty is going to become queen, but the selfish fairy Rhonda puts it all in jeopardy with an evil wish! From Epic! Originals, Once Before Time is a playful board book series of fairy tales reimagined from a time long ago... with dinosaurs!

In this prehistoric retelling of the classic story, Sleeping Bronty discovers her own queenly potential thanks to her fairy friends, the prince, and some very spicy chili.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

What happened? The first book in this series was so cute. This one is juvenile, condescending, has weaker illustrations, and doesn't even make sense.

Sleeping Bronty is based on "Sleeping Beauty". But so many of the original elements are left out of the story. The fairy who curses Bronty (her name is Rhonda) doesn't do it because she's feeling left out; she's simply selfish and wants to be queen. Instead of a spindle, Bronty pricks her tail on a rosebush thorn. Rhonda then takes over the kingdom (because, apparently, Bronty's the rightful queen; we never do find out what happened to her parents). She's not woken up by a kiss, but by spicy chili. Then Bronty and the prince get rid of Rhonda by feeding her the chili and giving her hiccups so bad that she runs away.

I enjoyed Cinderella Rex because it turned "Cinderella" on its head and made the prince's fascination with her about her dancing skills, not her pretty face. Sleeping Bronty doesn't have any real romance, either... but it doesn't work as well here. The plot of "Sleeping Beauty" traditionally relies on true love's kiss to break the curse. The inclusion of hiccup-inducing chili just seems puerile. Kids might find it funny, but adult readers are liable to be unimpressed.

The illustrator for Sleeping Bronty is not the same as for Cinderella Rex. The style looks a bit different, and I wasn't as enamoured with the pictures in this one.

So this was a disappointment. I was hoping Sleeping Bronty would live up to the high standard set by Cinderella Rex. Sadly, it did not.

Thank you to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment