Review Blog

Apr 20 2007

Mirror mirror by Nancy Butcher

cover image

Usborne

Age 12-15. Imagine an overweight, drab 15 year old princess and a mother who relies on a mirror-wielding Beauty Consultant to reassure her of her beauty. Add an Academy for Girls where only the prettiest are sent and an evil charismatic headmaster who hands out beauty pills and you have all the ingredients for an unusual retelling of the classic fairy story.

The Beauty Consultant, his mirror and his beauty potions strike chords with the fixation that today's society has with personal appearance and ageing. Major themes in this book are jealousy, beauty and the need for parental acceptance.

This book could be used in conjunction with other novels that retell fairy tales, especially those by Robin McKinley and Jane Yolen. An interesting unit of work could examine how authors have rewritten stories to make them attractive to a modern audience. The crisp language and easy to read style will be appealing to all who like the fairy story genre.

Pat Pledger

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