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The Magic Fish-bone

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3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  195 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
This is the extraordinary story of a very nearly ordinary princess named Alicia. Given a magic fish-bone by a good fairy, Alicia can have whatever she wishes-provided she wishes for it at the right time. But it's never clear when the right time is, and sometimes the best magic is no magic at all....

Perfectly matched by Robert Florczak's spectacular illustrations, this funn
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Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 1st 2000 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1867)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 511)
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Jamie
May 31, 2016 Jamie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Read this for some kids at the library. It fell flat. First problem were how many kids they had. THen how royalty was living ordinary lives. Then is was why is a 7 year old getting married...So many issues with this. SO it was too fake for the children. It wasn't fairy tale enough to dismiss reality and the reality of this story did not work for them. I couldn't get through a single page hardly without one of them objecting to a point in the story. And the ending had 4 of the 9 children crying. ...more
Lenny Husen
May 11, 2016 Lenny Husen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightful story, I had a record as a child with this story and I liked it very much, even without any illustrations except one (not very well drawn) on the cover of the record.
These illustrations are wonderful, the artist is S. Beatrice Pearse. The edition I have is from 1911.

Why I like this story: Princess Alicia worked very very hard without whining, and knew she couldn't have an easy life just by wishing for it. Like King Bud in Queen Zixi of Ix, Alicia knew that she wanted to save her wish
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Shawn Thrasher
Odd but cute. The Fairy Godmother as a type rather than a bland cypher is always clever; making her a character rather than deus ex machina is fun and Dicken's sassy fairy godmother definitely steals the show. The only other passages in the book - and they are short - where Dicken's shines is when he writes of the Duchess, Princess Alicia's doll. The entire story is sweetly mocking fairy tales and childhood stories, with a brush of snark - but the Duchess if pure sentimentality (she inhabits the ...more
Claire
Apr 14, 2016 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-kids
My sister introduced this to me, and I thereafter to my 8 year old son who loved it. This book proves my 2 best literary theories - 1) my sister has great taste in books, and 2) Dickens hated dogs.
Sean
Jan 10, 2015 Sean rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love Dickens, but this little fairy tale was just--meh. It's a cute little story, but not very memorable and it didn't do much for me.
Alastair Hudson
Jul 13, 2015 Alastair Hudson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Children
Shelves: fiction, childrens
It was by Charles Dickens. Beyond that this is an unremarkable fairy tale told tongue in cheek by a Victorian writer.
Alicia keeps us and her father guessing as the main protagonist; self-assured and in charge. Extra-ordinary facts are revealed (How many children!?)
We enjoy the typical fairy tale mystery and everything comes good in the end. A nice touch is that an annoying dog dies (I liked this bit, my daughter didn't...). No fairy tale would be complete without something dying. 'Moral of the T
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Mathew
Oct 30, 2015 Mathew rated it it was ok
I'm a massive fan of Dickens but this was oddly different. It is of the same series of stories for children that A Christmas Carol was a part of. Although it follows many of the fairy tale tropes quite cleverly and it is clearly written to be read aloud AND for children. Originally, Dickens had pretended to have the writer be a seven year-old girl which explains the use of language and some of his stylistic choices.
Adriana Boltaeva
Apr 23, 2014 Adriana Boltaeva rated it it was amazing
Marvelous fairy tale of the victorian days. Represents the typical function of the literature magic tale. by V. Propp we see different typical functions in the text. magic gift, problems and their solving, wedding. no fairy tale can be without it.
Dina3del
When we have tried very hard,and tried all ways,we must done our very very best :)
it's the best quot in this short story .
but finally I feel it 's for children :))
Ikou
i think this stroy make us understand what happen when the fairy was given to a children magic fishbone !!!
Karen Maurer
Hard to be objective here since I have loved this story since my long ago childhood.
Heather Bruins
Feb 12, 2015 Heather Bruins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely adorable! I'll be reading this to my granddaughter
Rachel
Jun 26, 2009 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I have read this book aloud to my younger siblings countless times, and we all love it. The story is like a fantasy that a little girl might have about getting a magic talisman that can grant a wisely-chosen wish, but Dickens tells it in such a way as to draw out its childishness and humor. And like a good Victorian, Dickens inserts a Moral into his whimsical plot: "when we have tried our very best, and tried all ways, then I think it is time to ask the help of others."
Lynnea
This was way too hard to follow or get into for a children's book.
Julie
Jan 03, 2011 Julie rated it liked it
Recommended to Julie by: 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up
A very quirky little story, told as if it was written by a seven-year-old girl. If you take into account that Dickens wrote the story like a child might, the improbable ending isn't as odd. Children hear fairy stories all the time that end in marriage so it's not a huge leap to imagine that they'd end their stories the same way. Still, ASPCA is probably right to be concerned about the "author" Miss Alice Rainbird.
Jenny
Dec 23, 2012 Jenny rated it really liked it
I was unfamiliar with this story before reading this book. It is a delightful story and would be wonderful to read aloud to a child. I was disappointed with the illustrations. Although they are beautiful, I don't think that some of them match the story.
Lila
May 24, 2009 Lila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-ya
This book was at my great aunt's house which made it less available and therefore a little more special than the books at home. My siblings and I could recite chunks of it ("Where is the magic fishbone?" "In my pocket, papa", etc.)
Christopher DeSantis
I love this children's tale (with a cautionary moral for adults - be good then, and don't!). The language is delicious and whimsical - all praise to Dickens' craftsmanship.
L.R. Green
I expected it to be better, it being written by Dickens but I didn't think it was that great. The story didn't flow well at all, but I guess it was still cute.
Sheryl Tribble
Dec 31, 2011 Sheryl Tribble rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this as a child. I had the Best In Children's Books version, illustrated by Robin Jacques, where Alicia looks more 14 than 7, IMHO.
Bologna_frog
A funny little story. Apparently, marriage at seven years and a multitude of children was every girl's fantasy.
Elaine
Good story with a very weird ending..a seven year old girl gets married and the dog chokes to death.
Tanya
Oct 26, 2013 Tanya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tanya by: Book list
Not a fan of the ending, but liked the illustrations and the very wise and industrious Alicia.
Kyrie
Mar 08, 2013 Kyrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I don't know why it was a favorite, but I do remember loving this tale as a kid.
Tammy
Jul 29, 2013 Tammy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it except for the ending. The illustrations were cute!!
Vandy
very well illustrated.
gr 1 n up
Jane
May 07, 2010 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great Victorian fairy tale.
E. T. Brother
Feb 26, 2016 E. T. Brother rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story
Jenella Welsh
Jenella Welsh marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2016
Karen
Karen rated it liked it
Sep 20, 2016
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Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and sho ...more
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