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Sleeping Ugly

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  747 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
Plain Jane has a heart of gold -- but her face is as homely as her nose is long. Princess Miserella, on the other hand, is a beautiful princess with a heart of stone. In this droll twist on the classic fairytale, the kiss-bestowing prince learns that beauty is indeed only skin deep."Yolen pokes fun at the patterned Sleeping-princess story in a tale that's written with bris ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by Perfection Learning (first published August 7th 1981)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,446)
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Jane Yolen rocks! Jane Yolen Rocks! Jane Yolen rocks!

Nice companion to her Cinderella. Disney should make this into a movie and do it right.
Oct 30, 2011 Morgan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting take on the traditional "sleeping princess tale" I liked how the pretty girl was ugly on the inside and the "ugly" ('plain' girl) was beautiful on the inside. However, I would have liked to see, instead of labeling the girl in this story as ugly to rather explore the beauty in her traditionally "not pretty" features. Similarly I don't like the message that "Plain Jane" can't bag a guy who has riches and jewels, that the prince that is obtainable is the one who is dirt poo ...more
Sam Grace
Aug 13, 2009 Sam Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beginning readers, fairy tale lovers,
The last page:

Let sleeping princesses lie
or lying princesses sleep,
whichever seems wisest."

This is an excellent beginning reader book. The illustrations are totally secondary, but Yolen is great. I like how she handled the description of Plain Jane: "Her hair was short and turned down. Her nose was long and turned up. And even if they had been the other way 'round she would not have been a great beauty." That is, not any one feature or other makes you plain, but being plain is not a big
Tessa Hensley
Dec 07, 2015 Tessa Hensley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This story is amazing, this is the first time I have heard the telling of a fairy tale backwards but it was awesome, and so much more meaningful. The princess "sleeping beauty" in this story was beautiful but mean, she even kicked dogs. Her horse gets her lost and she ends up with a fairy and an ugly but sweet girl. The fairy puts them all to sleep and a prince comes and kisses the ugly girl instead, so the mean princess stays asleep forever.

I love that they took a fairy tale and told it from a
Becky B
A story that's a mixture of two fairy tales, Sleeping Beauty and Diamonds and Toads. There's a beautiful princess who is not a nice person and an ugly maiden who is very nice. When the two get mixed up with a fairy, the ugly girl is nice, the mean princess is mean, and they all accidentally get put to sleep for a hundred years. When a prince comes along, he understands how these kinds of spells work but he decides to practice kissing on the fairy and the ugly maiden before going for the princess ...more
Jessica Hatfield
Jun 22, 2014 Jessica Hatfield rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I felt like this book was poorly written. It did show some the benefit of having good manners and being kind. It also showed that not everyone who is beautiful and popular are nice. I didn't understand why the one girl had to be "ugly". She could have just been a kind village girl. It also bothered me that she was only able to get a "down and out" prince via the fairy's wish and not based on the fact she is a nice and kind person! Also they kept the "mean girl" and used her for furniture.....I w ...more
Mar 25, 2012 Brigette rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I suppose that this was supposed to be a variation on the Sleeping Beauty story, but I definitely prefer Disney's version. The book has a portrait orientation, which is normal for a fairy tale book, as they tell stories of people (generally. The version I had came from the library, so I don't know if it was a “library version,” or if all publications of this book were like this, but the end papers were white, which surprised me. Maybe this color of end paper was intended to add to the moral of n ...more
Jennifer Weiss
Oct 09, 2012 Jennifer Weiss rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am personally a huge fan of the Disney fairy tales so this was a different rendition of the story. It was a unique twist to the story, instead of the Princess waking up at the end of the story from a kiss by a Prince, the Prince decides not to wake to Princess. In this version of the story, the Princess is very rude and selfish and beautiful. She uses her beauty to get what ever she wants and she is very rude to others who are less fortunate in looks. When she comes in contact with Plain Jane, ...more
Herbie Behm
Sleeping ugly is a fractured version of the classic Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. In this version there are 2 princesses. The first is very beautiful on the outside but very ugly on the inside while the second is the opposite, she is very plain on the outside while she is beautiful on the inside. The illustrations of this book were very good and symmetrical to the story book. The lesson that this book reveals to it’s readers was a very good one. It shows that beauty is only skin deep and that look ...more
Rosa Cline
Oct 15, 2014 Rosa Cline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
This book is a version of a 'myth-legend' teaching children to see beyond the outward appearance to see the inner person someone is. As often the prettier someone is doesn't always mean they are a 'pretty' person. Ms Yolen takes a 'old woman that is a fairy in disguise' to help a pretty but ugly princess and a not as pretty but beautiful woman to teach children reading this book the lesson to look inside someone to the beauty within.
Nicole Dylewicz
Oct 08, 2012 Nicole Dylewicz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sleeping Ugly was a good book to read. I was surprised when I read this because I never heard of it before and the cover of the book was the complete opposite from the original book. The main character Jane was not pretty. She had a big nose that was noticeable. The text of this book was age appropriate and I would recommend young children to read this. The pages went from black and white to color. I am sure sure why the author had chose to do this but it made the book that more interesting. Chi ...more
Jan 02, 2016 Reagan rated it it was amazing
Princess Merella is a beauty on the outside, but horrid on the inside. Plain Jane is a poor orphaned girl. When princess Merella and an old lady (she's a fairy in disguise) come to her house, Plain Jane gets three wishes from the fairy. What's going t happen next? Read the book to find out!

I like this book! It is like Sleeping beauty.
Oct 10, 2012 Gen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a parody that is based off a classical story, comes an important moral: don't judge a book by its cover. Sleeping Ugly revolves around 2 girls: A beautiful one with a heart of stone and a plain-looking one with a heart of gold. At the end, the prince ends up marrying plain Jane. The story illustrates how inner beauty is so much more important than outer beauty. I believe that this is very crucial for girls these days to realize that. However, I disliked the part about the magical wish and ce ...more
Nov 22, 2014 MD rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love everything I've read by Jane Yolen, and I've read everything I could find! In this book, there is a beautiful princess who is only beautiful on the outside and a plain girl who is only plain on the outside. You know which one will get the prince, but how it happens is clever and witty.
Jan 06, 2015 Alysia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like that it explained that the "Beautiful" princess wasn't really beautiful, not the "Plain Jane" plain. I like the altruism that is shown by "Plain Jane", but in the end I felt like the ending was a little weak. It is a short story, only a few pages,....but I wanted more depth.
Meg McGregor
Apr 15, 2015 Meg McGregor rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairy-tales
This is a upside down version of the Sleeping Beauty story. I liked some parts of it and others, like the ending, I disliked immensely. The illustrations are lackluster a best and definitely do not entice the reader to want to know more. This was a very disappointing read.
Zackery Busse
Sleeping ugly is a funny spin off of sleeping beauty. It doesn't quite have the same fairy tale feel to it and it doesn't have the same type of Disney princess ending to it. The illustrations are a bit odd to me because everyother page the illustrator chose to portray with only black and white ink while the others were full color. The drawings were also kind of dull and boring and rather small for the most part with a lot of white space filling the pages. The narrative is interesting as well bec ...more
Juliana Duarte
I thought the Story Sleeping Ugly was an okay book. It is a twist from the story sleeping beauty where the character is beautiful inside and out and ends up being a princess and living happily ever after. In Sleeping Ugly there is a girl who is beautiful on the outside and ugly, mean and wicked on the inside where there is also a girl who isn't the most beautiful on the outside but has a heart of gold on the inside. This is a good book for children to not judge a book by its cover. Just because ...more
Stephanie Allred
A spin off of the classic "Sleeping Beauty" fairy-tale, "Sleeping Ugly," written by Jane Yolen, is a witty little fairy-tale, but plainly written and plainly put together. From looking at the cover to flipping through the illustrations, there is nothing more than just plainly drawn illustrations. Perhaps this ties in with the idea of the story being about Plain Jane. The text is also very simple, but very easy to read. The text is quite crucial to add more details to the illustrations, and the i ...more
Dec 02, 2007 Sandi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids 6-10
This modern fairy tale, intended to remind readers of Sleeping beauty and Cinderella in antithesis, is fun to read and has a moral to share along with it’s humor. Plain Jane is a poor orphan and ugly to look at, but beautiful inside, where it counts. Princess Miserella is beautiful in every way on the exterior, but has no beauty inside. Miserella is as unkind and selfish as Jane is kind and selfless. A chance meeting with a fairy changes the fate of both. With the touch of her magic wand the fai ...more
Oct 02, 2008 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Summary: Princess Miserella is a beautiful princess on the outside, but has a wicked personality. When beautiful Princess Miserella, Plain Jane, and a fairy fall under a sleeping spell, a prince undoes the spell in a surprising way.
Genre: Fairy Tale
Audience: K-6
Reading Level: Intermediate Readers
Curricular Uses: Read-Aloud, Independent Reading
Theme: Beauty comes from within.
Literary Aspects: Humor, dialogue
Additional Comments: Very humorous book that puts a spin on traditional fairy tales abou
Jenna White
This book was okay. It taught a good moral and very closely resembled the story of Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters. However, I thought it was different how the Prince moves on from kissing one girl to another. I don't know how appropriate that would be for a classroom of young students. Additonally, the ending didn't make sense about how they let the mean princess keep sleeping; if they were truly nice, they would have woken her up as well. On another note, I liked the illustrations. They were in b ...more
This is a clever little retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story for beginning readers. The princess, though pretty, is a rude, mean terror. She finds Plain Jane's house in the woods with a fairy, and eventually all three of them wind up asleep for 100 years until Prince Jojo rescues two of them, the fairy and Jane, and leaves the Miserella to be used as a coat rack. On one level, it really is funny. On another, I'm not terribly happy about Jane being described as ugly. I get where Yolen is going ...more
Jan 03, 2016 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, children
Okay book. It is an obvious twist on the sleeping beauty and other princess stories. I thought the illustrations were ugly and did nothing to enhance the story. It is for beginning readers.
Jillian Warren
A twist on a classic. Prince Charming falls in love with Plain Jane and not the beautiful princess. Teaches that what is on the inside matters more than how you look.
Kendall Kraiss
This book had good and bad qualities and lessons behind it. First off, I like that it was not are typical prince and princess story. I also liked that it can teach the reader that beauty is only skin deep and that being pretty or plain on the outside does not mean that you are that way on the inside. However, I absolutely hate the word UGLY! It is a terrible word and I really do not like that one princess is beautiful while the other is ugly. Girls especially use that word too much and it's not ...more
Luz Herrera
Oct 25, 2011 Luz Herrera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was very interesting! I thought it was going to tell the story in somebody's else perspective but it was just totally different. Miseralla is rude and not nice at all and plain jane is nice. there weren't any rude sisters or anything there were only three characters. But i loved then end because plain jane is the one who got the boy in the end and she didn't even mean to do it. She was saying it unconsciously to herself and the fairytale godmother overheard and gave her the w ...more
Megan Drees
Sleeping Ugly by Jane Yolen is a twisted version of the classic Sleeping Beauty. The author portrays the beautiful princess as an ugly person inside while providing a juxtaposed character of average looks and beautiful personality. The reader expects the beautiful princess to fall in love; however, it is Plain Jane that becomes loved by the prince. As in all classic fairy tales, a magical fairy is to blame for this unexpected outcome. The ending provides a very comical twist that surprises the r ...more
Miguel Angel
Feb 04, 2016 Miguel Angel rated it really liked it
Really liked this book. read it in class and loved it all but the ending which I thought contradicts the nice persona of the main character.
Lisa Schwartz
Sleeping Ugly is about a really pretty princess who is pretty on the outside, but on the inside she is the ugliest, meanest wickedest princess. Plain Jane is the opposite- ugly on the outside, but really nice on the inside. I like this book because it has adventure and excitement, and there was a nice twist to it. Though the princess' every movement is lovely, Jane's kindness and good-natured behavior win the love of the prince. Morals in society are so often skewed, but Yolan's funny story real ...more
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Jane Yolen is a novelist, poet, fantasist, journalist, songwriter, storyteller, folklorist, and children’s book author who has written more than three hundred books. Her accolades include the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Awards, the Kerlan Award, two Christopher Awards, and six honorary doctorate degrees from colleges and universities in Massachuset ...more
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