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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  530 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Cursed by an evil fairy at her christening, Princess Melisande grows up bald but finds herself facing another set of problems when her wish for golden hair is fulfilled.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published April 7th 1999 by Candlewick (first published January 1st 1901)
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Jun 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picturebooks
I have been looking for this book for most of my life. I read it in my school library in second grade and only found it again a few months ago. E. Nesbit writes very smart stories and I think I'd call this one a friendly fairy tale satire, and the pictures are very cute.
Apr 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture, victorian
This perfectly illustrated version of Nesbit's charming fairy tales captures its beauty and its humor in exactly the right balance.
This delightful "modern" fairy tale describes the trials of a royal family beset with too many traditions from "historical" fairy tales. Borrowing themes from Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Melisande is a tale of traditional fairytale and mathematical logic. Unexpected things happen to characters when they don't think logically. The Prince become the hero because he CAN actually think logically!

Melisande is a princess subject to the usual misfortune: an uninvited wicked fairy at her christening cast
Aug 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Melisande first appeared as a short story "Melisande Or, Long and Short Division" in her collection: Nine Unlikely Tales for Children. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1901. It is a humorous and thoughtful satirical adaptation of classic fairy tale themes. The complete text is available online at the Sur La Lune Fairy Tales website. You can also hear the whole book read by Cori Samuel on the LibriVox website.

Borrowing themes from Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Gulliver's Travels and oth
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was my first E. Nesbit and now I understand why her stories are getting repinned out the wazoo on Pinterest. This was seriously fun to read! I loved the use of math and logic in the story. The king manages to reason all the fairies out of cursing newborn Melisande, even though technically they all have a right to curse her since none of them were invited to the christening (he outreasons them, so there!). And when Melisande foolishes wishes for her hair to grow exponentially, Nesbit actuall ...more
Althea Ann
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another one that I'd read as a child.

The Fairy Christening Curse strikes again! This princess' family tried to avoid it by inviting NO fairies to the party, in the hopes that if no one was invited, no one could get offended. Well, that didn't work, and their darling daughter ends up cursed with baldness!

Perhaps she should've left well enough alone... because when she's later gifted a wish to cure herself, a poorly-worded request causes her to end up with more hair than the kingdom can handle. W
I LOVE this book. I bought it for the beautiful illustrations, and loved it for the characters (... AND the beautiful illustrations)

Feb 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Classic Nesbit with fabulous illistrations. I loved it.
Theodora Goss
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most beautiful books I own, a wonderful E. Nesbit story with all of her wit, gloriously illustrated by PJ Lynch. I would recommend it for any lover or collector of fairy tales.
Mar 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Cute new fairy-tale. Based (in bits) around Sleeping Beauty and other, less well-known tales.

Loved the art.
Mar 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my very favorite picture books! Beautifully illustrated, and a wonderful story!
Loved this fairy tale. She found ways to include math too.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my favourite children's book, it's super clever and the illustrations are amazing.
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When Melisande is christened she is cursed by a fairy to be bald forever more. The curse was pretty tame, but only because the king managed to step in before anything worse could be doled out by the several hundred other fairies lined up to take a crack at the little princess. But it was enough to distress the Queen, so when Melisande is given a magic wish, her mother coaches her to wish for hair. Lots of hair. Hair that grew quickly, and doubly fast when cut. Now trapped as her hair grows nearl ...more
Cynthia Egbert
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am going to copy down the introduction written by Naomi Lewis as my offering because it describes so well how I feel about this book and about E. Nesbit in general.

"This splendid story was written over a hundred years ago, but so alive is the voice that tells it that it might have been written only yesterday. It is a genuine fairy tale, complete with spells and marvels, yet who but E. Nesbit could have made it so entertaining, so funny, so practical? She knew that magic has its rules, and most
Sep 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 3-12, Family
A very enchanting, witty, original fairy-tale by E. Nesbit. My little sister found it in the library one day and asked me to read it to her. I was glad I did! It is in no way predictable (which makes it all the more charming), while making sense the whole time.
Mary Catelli
A clever take on fairy tail tropes in a world where they are all known -- at least of the most popular ones -- and people try to warp them.

A bit heavy on the smart and less on the feeling side.
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
To be honest, I expected more from Nesbit. Perhaps the format was too short to get this story just right. In the end it simply followed a fairytale format with very simple twists.
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-to-buy
Sigh. A lovely fairy tale.
Nov 19, 2011 added it
I think it was strange.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review
fractured fariy tale great resource for teachers.. artistic impression, art projects,and a cute story.
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very cute and different take on the Repunzal story. I enjoyed it.
Catherine  Mustread
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Catherine by: Selected Shorts
Fairy tale retold with some interesting twists (of hair)!
Aug 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended by Julie Kong.
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Weaving a number of familiar story lines, this story recants the fate of princess Melisande who is of course rescued by a prince.
Jul 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Growing up bald may be a curse but try having your wish for long golden hair answered! (Especially if it's real gold and never stops growing...)
Read the ebook version while at the same time flipping through the Italian translation for the beautiful illustration by P.J. Lynch.
AE Michels
Classic Nesbit--a fairytale with wit and a bit of critical thinking--though perhaps a bit out of date. PJ Lynch's illustrations, however, are gorgeous.
Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard
This charming book by E. Nesbit is one of my favorite fairytales. (Full review to come)
One of my favorites. E. Nesbit is great. The pictures fit the story perfectly too.
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Edith Nesbit (married name Edith Bland; 15 August 1858 – 4 May 1924) was an English author and poet; she published her books for children under the name of E. Nesbit.
She wrote or collaborated on over 60 books of fiction for children, several of which have been adapted for film and television. She was also a political activist and co-founded the Fabian Society, a socialist organisation later connec
More about E. Nesbit...

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