Reviews for Fairest of All

Booklist Reviews 2012 April #1
There's "once upon a time" and "happily ever after," but what happens when the story "gets all tangled up" in the middle? That question is at the heart of this debut title in a new fairy-tale-themed series. Ten-year-old Abby and her seven-year-old brother, Jonah, are living a normal life in a new town until they discover the mirror in the basement. When they knock on its surface three times, they're whizzed away to fairy-tale land and find themselves at the home of Snow (yes, White). Just as Evil Evelyn, her wicked stepmother, is about to hand over the infamous poison apple, Jonah intervenes. But if Snow doesn't eat the poison apple, then the prince can't save her, and that means Snow's love life is ruined, not to mention Disney's whole movie. There's lots of hilarious artistic license here (three of the seven dwarfs are women; one has pink hair), along with unexpected plot twists and plenty of girl power. Tween girls who may not be quite ready for Donna Jo Napoli and Gail Carson Levine's fractured-fairy-tale novels will find this title is just right. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
Ten-year-old Abby and seven-year-old Jonah discover a mirror that transports them into Snow White's fairy tale. They save Snow from the queen but realize the events change the happy ending everyone expects; the siblings race to resolve everything before their parents discover them missing. This entertaining, breezy modern take on a classic fairy tale will leave readers clamoring for another installment.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 March #2
A magic mirror, a slightly bossy sister and her inquisitive 7-year-old brother captivate in this rollicking remake of a classic fairy tale. An aspiring judge, 10-year-old Abby especially likes fairy tales' clarity; in fairy tales, "good is good, and bad is bad." However, Abby's orderly world is overturned when her brother Jonah accidentally awakens the eerie mirror in the basement of their new home. Suddenly, they find themselves in Snow White's world--just in time to valiantly foil the evil queen's poisoned-apple plot. This is cause for celebration until they realize that now "Snow" no longer requires rescuing by the prince. Comical misadventures ensue as the pragmatic Abby and exuberant Jonah attempt to resolve their dilemma, with many surprises along the way. Mlynowski blends elements from the traditional tale with the Disney movie version and adds her own modern twist. The result is an uproariously funny read. The swift pace of the tale and non-stop action combined with Abby's quick wit will enchant readers from the first page. While Snow's story is satisfactorily settled, the author leaves enough beguiling mysteries to keep readers eagerly anticipating the siblings' next adventure. (Fantasy. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 April #1

This delightful kickoff to the Whatever After series demonstrates Mlynowski's (the Magic in Manhattan series) prowess at writing for middle-graders. In the cleverly tangled and quite funny story, 10-year-old Abby and her younger brother, Jonah, are sucked into the mirror in their basement. Landing in a forest, they follow an old woman to a cottage and end up preventing Snow White from eating the apple the woman offers her. Since she didn't eat the poisoned fruit and a prince won't revive her with a kiss, Abby laments that they've "ruined her life" and vows to "fix" Snow White's story. Mlynowski's story is studded with comical pratfalls, witty quips, and one-liners ("I'll take it! I'll take the yummy, juicy apple," a famished Jonah tells the disguised queen). The testy but devoted relationship between Abby and Jonah will resonate with readers, Mlynowski's twists on the original story entertain, and Abby's exclamatory narration grabs attention from the start. The ending hints at another trip through the basement mirror--a promising prospect. Ages 8-12. Agent: Laura Dail, Laura Dail Literary Agency. (May)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 May

Gr 3-5--When fifth-grader Abby and her younger brother, Jonah, move from Chicago to boring small-town Smithville, they think the exciting part of their lives might be over. Then Jonah discovers a hissing mirror in the basement. After he knocks on it three times, it swallows them both up and spits them out in a fairy-tale land called Zamel. They arrive as Snow White's evil stepmother is attempting to poison Snow with an apple, just like in the story. They save her from that fate, but soon realize their huge mistake. If Snow doesn't eat the apple, the prince never gets to rescue her, and she never falls in love with him. They have actually ruined her happily-ever-after. Somehow they have to get his attention, but it won't be easy. This is essentially "Snow White" retold, with enough amusing changes thrown in to keep readers giggling. Some of the dwarfs are girls, one of them is ridiculously handsome, and the mirror's name is Gabrielle. While Snow White is annoyingly vapid, Abby's conversational narration is witty and charming, and Jonah's one-liners are snappy and clever. A light, fun adventure.--Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX

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