Review of FOR BIDDLE’S SAKE by GAIL CARSON LEVINE
(fifth in the PRINCESS TALES series)
Bombina is a mean fairy who turns so many people into toads that the fairy queen restricts her to a yearly toad limit (that Bombina usually hits quite early in the year). Then the mean fairy finds herself adopting/kidnapping a little girl named Parsley. Bombina learns to genuinely love the little girl - enough that she resists turning people to toads, for Parsley’s sake.
Until the unfortunate day when Bombina accidentally turns Parsley into a toad. Now the only way to undo the curse is if a human proposes marriage to Parsley, as a toad.
For years Parsley has watched three young princes from a magic spyglass. She found herself most intrigued by the youngest, Tansy, who is constantly bullied and belittled by his older brothers. They blame him for their mistakes and take credit for his accomplishments and little does Tansy know that Parsley is often the only witness who understands what really happened.
When the king announces a challenge to decide his heir for the throne, Parsley finds ways to help Tansy - even as a toad. I found this tale much less predictable than the others, simply because I’m not familiar with the original story - “Puddocky.”
Another cute fairy tale twist with a straight-forward sensibility and silly sense of humor.