i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings.
i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds.
i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends

Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends (Ever After High, #1)
by Shannon Hale

At Ever After High, an enchanting boarding school, the children of fairytale legends prepare themselves to fulfill their destinies as the next generation of Snow Whites, Prince Charmings and Evil Queens…whether they want to or not. Each year on Legacy Day, students sign the Storybook of Legends to seal their scripted fates. For generations, the Village of Book End has whispered that refusing to sign means The End-both for a story and for a life.

As the daughter of the Evil Queen, Raven Queen’s destiny is to follow in her mother’s wicked footsteps, but evil is so not Raven’s style. She’s starting to wonder, what if she rewrote her own story? The royal Apple White, daughter of the Fairest of Them All, has a happy ever after planned for herself, but it depends upon Raven feeding her a poison apple in their future.

What if Raven doesn’t sign the Storybook of Legends? It could mean a happily never after for them both.

First I saw the dolls in a store flyer. It was love at first sight. Then I saw the book in the store and I promptly told my husband he was buying this for me for Christmas. Then I discovered the website and the theme song and the webisodes so it’s pretty safe to say I have become slightly obsessed with this series.

I knew that this book was going to be for kids even before I watched the animation. But I also knew I was going to love it to pieces and I wasn’t wrong.

The book is pretty. The pages are pretty. It’s full of puns and life lessons and Morals of the Story and just so much fun, fairy tale goodness. I keep thinking it’s Disney, but it’s Mattel. It’s my Jem and the Holograms obsession for this decade. I don’t care about Monster High, but I was instantly drawn to fairy tale legends. What can I say?  I like fairy tales.

There is mystery and deception and friendship and broken friendships. There’s hope and whimsy and humour and gossip.

I loved everything about this book. It is an exceptionally light and fun read but it’s just what I needed after Christmas and the months I have been having. It was FUN. I laughed out loud. I rolled my eyes. I smiled A  LOT while reading this book. It’s fun.

And the theme song isn’t so bad either. It has a good message.

They told you everything was waiting for you,
They told you everything was set in stone,
But now you’re feeling like a different ending,
Sometimes you gotta find it on your own.

It’s an open book,
A road in reverse,
A brand new hook,
Forget that curse!
It’s a Rebel cause,
With a Royal heart,
Rewrite, ignite, restart!

Cause it’s your life,
It’s your time,
Go forward or rewind!

And it’s a pretty freakin’ catchy bubblegum pop song. Even my husband dances to it with me. Heh.

Shush now. Let me have my whimsy. =P

it’s OK to like fairy tale princesses

Sometimes I miss the days of being able to enjoy something without having all of these other little voices in my head reminding me that people will be complaining about it or trying to ban things or whatever. And I’m not talking about horribly, awful things. I’m just talking about harmless fun that so many people now feel the need to denounce and burn at the stake.

Last weekend I was in Ottawa visiting Monkey and I happened to be perusing the exciting English flyers (because ours are all in French only) and came across this in the Toys R Us flyer.

The second my eyes saw this picture of dolls, they lit up. I posted that photo to the internet and said, “I don’t know what these are but I WANT THEM!”

You see, I am instantly drawn to anything remotely fairy tale-ish. I love Disney. I love regular fairy tales. I love Disney Princesses, not because I WANT to be a princess but because there’s something about them that ignites a spark inside me. Something about fairy tales and princesses fills me with happiness and wonder and whimsy.

I love to be enchanted. Fairy tales are enchanting. These dolls have shiny, whimsical clothes (although those heels look deadly.) I was oddly drawn to the one on the far left instantly and then to the purple one. I had no idea who they were but the one on the far left reminded me of Alice in Wonderland.

Turns out, she’s the daughter of the Mad Hatter. I’m good.

Then I found out that these dolls were part of the Ever After High series. And there was a book. A BOOK! By one of my favourite children’s lit authors – Shannon Hale. She writes amazing stories. She’s written Princess Academy (which, by the way I did NOT want to read and refused to read it and Monkey told me I would like it and I still refused but then I was stuck on a couch after breaking my toe and read it and it quickly became one of my favourite middle grade books) and Goose Girl (the entire series is fantastic). She can really, really tell a story and weave a great fairy tale/fantasy, and she doesn’t make it cutesy or silly.

Then… I SAW the book in the store.

If I had seen this book before the dolls, I’d have still lusted over it and wanted it. The book is gorgeous and eye-catching and pretty and just…makes me so happy. (So I told my husband that this was one of the things I HAD to have at Christmas. ;))

The thing is as I am getting so excited and happy about this series (which is sort of like Monster High, although I never really felt any connection to that line of dolls or stories. Odd.) but all I can hear in the back of my mind are those people who are going to complain about these “princess dolls” making “girls think that all they need is to be a princess and wear pink”.

I’m sort of tired of how people rant about things that shouldn’t be ranted about. There’s no harm in whimsy and the fantasy that you can be a princess and find a Prince Charming. I adored Disney’s Snow White as a child. I loved her so much. I didn’t give two hoots about Prince Charming. I didn’t want to grow up and be a princess and marry a prince and live in a castle. Not once. (Ok, maybe as I grew up I wanted to live in a castle. But really, they seem awfully cold and draughty.)

What I wanted was to be able to speak with animals and to be able to burst out into song and dance in the middle of whatever I was doing and have the world sing and dance with me. THAT is what I got out of all of the Disney movies about Princesses. And I HATED pink. Hated it. I have always loved purple.

Now I love pink. I think it goes smashing with purple. In fact, I am writing this while wearing a hot pink hoodie. But do I love pink because I’m a girl and I saw a Princess wear it? Nope.

Did I ever think that I had to starve myself and be tall just so I could look like a Barbie doll? Nope. I loved playing with my Barbie Dolls and all their clothes but I loved my Jem & the Holograms dolls more because THEY WERE POP STARS and had happy coloured hair.

Not once did I think I had to be tall and thin and to rely on my prince to come galloping out from the sunset on his majestic steed to save me. I wanted my own My Little Pony Pegasus to ride. Or, like She-Ra’s flying horse. But I never thought that my dolls and my make-believe was what I needed to fulfil my life.

These Ever After High dolls make me happy. They are sons and daughters of fairy tale characters (although some of the logic is rather questionable, but I’m letting them get away with creative licence here…) and it’s a punny, silly cartoon show. There might be something on cable, but I don’t have that, so I’m just happy watching these short 2-4 minute YouTube animations. They make me giggle and the colours and magic of it all makes me feel all warm and giddy inside.

I love make-believe. I love fantasy. I love fairy tale princesses and their offspring and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean I’m going to model my life after them.

I think people take too many things way too seriously when they are just meant to be fun. There is nothing wrong with loving Disney Princesses or their movies. There’s nothing wrong with loving Mattel’s line of Ever After High dolls or their Monster High Dolls. Let children enjoy things that are childish. It won’t ruin them. They might end up being adults who still love to escape in an enchanting, whimsical tale now and then.

Let fun BE fun. There’s no harm in that.

And now I am going to go back and watch the rest of the Ever After High animations online. I’m only at episode 5 and there are 14 of them. Shawn is about to be so thrilled. He’s a patient, patient man. I am very lucky. 😉

(Also, I have decided that I NEED to be Maddie Hatter for Halloween next year. Tea, purple & teal hair, AND polka dot tights? I think I might already be her.)

Ever After High – youtube channel | fun website (I have already created my own Rebel character, because I’m five.)

You know, sometimes I think it would be pretty fun to be a magical, cartoon character. So maybe these fairy tale offspring are corrupting me after all. 😉

(And I might be playing the theme song on repeat, much to Shawn’s delight.)