Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Book Review: 'Once Upon and Ever After' by Caroline L. Thornton

Once Upon and Ever After by Caroline L. Thornton

A fresh and refreshing new fairytale

Scottish poet/author Caroline L Thornton made an impressive debut in the realm of children’s books with SCARED OF THE DARK, followed that with THE BLUSTERY DAY, and now adds ONCE UPON AND EVER AFTER to her growing repertoire Her writing is strong, her sense of rhyming is excellent and subtle – a must read for parents to children.

Now she offers a wondrous little tale that combines fairy tale revisions and imagination and wit in a thoroughly this delightful new book THE BLUSTERY DAY. With superb atmospheric illustrations by Olha Minyk this is one of the finest children’s books to be published this year.

This is a charming visit to all fairy tales – that special glow that comes with princes searching for a princess – yet it holds its own version to make believe. Or as the story opens, ‘Once Upon A Time – begin the tales we’re told. Where life was just sublime and straw could spin to gold. They warned of poisoned fruits and trading cows for beans, of giant stalks and shoots and jealous wicked queens.’ And in that fine rhyming pattern the story relates the search of a young prince who missed the ancient ways and instead saw the world upside down. Instead of playing with other children he chose to train, entering dragon nests and climbing tower walls, and searching for a captive princess – not unlike Rapunzel – and he searches a castle dungeon, finds an orb, a mirror with a voice stating that the princess once there had fled. The prince faces defeat, failing to find a wife, but suddenly discovers he is now free to choose the future he wants by seizing the moment. ‘Accepting what’s unknown, but holding on to laughter, the prince had found is own HAPPY EVER AFTER.’

At book’s end there is a fine ‘dictionary’ of words used and their meaning. Charming rhyming poetry highlighted by fine imagery, this is both a children’s story and an art book. Caroline L, Thornton has found her niche. Highly recommended.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.