Teapot Tales – three tales by Melissa Gijsbers

  • teapottalescoverThe Frog Prince
  • Rapunzel
  • The Princess and the Pea

The three tales by Melissa Gijsbers are retellings of some of the most famous fairy tales.  They are family friendly and put a playful twist on the original plot, providing freshness and a new sense of discovery to the stories.  Additionally, each story is retold for the modern world and gives each formerly helpless heroine a truly individual and powerful voice of their own.

The Frog Prince tells of Princess Clara, the eldest daughter of the king and queen who is in a bad mood thanks to her family’s insistence on marrying a prince, to secure the kingdom’s future.  In the garden, she does indeed meet a prince – of frogs.  Spotting an opportunity to rebel, she convinces the frog prince to come with her to the palace and play along while she announces she has found the prince she will marry.  Needless to say, the celebratory banquet has a rather unexpected ending, at least for the king and queen.

This story reads very well.  Clara’s voice is clear and for such a short story, all the characters are developed and the plot is clear.  A great, modern take on an old, old theme.

Rapunzel sees the captive girl in the tower taking matters into her own hands.  In the periods between regular visits from her “mother” and illicit visits from a prince, she is carving out a staircase to the bottom of the tower.  Waiting patiently for her visitors to leave and agreeing to everything they say, one determined to keep her imprisoned and the other determined to rescue and marry her, her mind is constantly on her project and freedom – on her own terms.

This story is easy to read and very relatable – there are not many young women today who would want to immediately exchange the restrictive life of their parents’ house for a different kind of restriction with a husband until they have had the chance to experience the world as an independent entity.  Rapunzel is an excellent representation of such a woman, strong, determined and confident.

The Princess and the Pea introduces us to Theresa, a real princess on an adventure – perhaps a gap year? – who stops for the night at a castle where they are searching for a real princess.  Unable to sleep, she takes the bed apart until she finds the peas that are causing her discomfort and proceeds to sleep like a log.  The queen, disappointed to learn that Theresa slept well, is astonished when Theresa blithely hands over the peas before waltzing out the door – her test had been passed, but Theresa had no intention of playing the queen’s game.

I enjoyed this version of the famous story, and this was also my favourite of the three tales by this author.  The strong female characters that the author creates appeal to me: they are much more relatable to today’s women than the passive originals.  An excellent collection from a writer to be noticed.

Emily Morgan
Emily Morgan

This review was sent to me by Emily Morgan:

Emily Morgan is a writer, editor, linguist and blogger.  She loves the world of language and literature and can’t wait for the day when she will be able to read fabulous reimagined fairy stories (as well as the originals) to her daughter.  Emily can be found blogging about life as a single mother at http://mamagoingsolo.com.  You will find her work in an upcoming Christmas anthology, Jingle Bells, and she has also been featured in Practical Parenting magazine.  Emily can be contacted about providing excellent freelance website content and technical writing and editing services at her writer’s blog: http://emilymorganwrites.com.

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About Melissa

Melissa Gijsbers started writing when she was in High School during the 1990s, even winning some awards for a short story and a script. For many years, life got in the way of creative writing, however she did start blogging around 2006.

She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her two sons and a pet blue tongue lizard.

Melissa Gijsbers, Author, Speaker & Booklover
Melissa Gijsbers - Author, Speaker & Booklover
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