I’d gathered Miss0, Miss3 and Miss6 into the big bed last night for a book before bed. Miss6 had brought home Enchanted: Before The Fall from the school library and was very excited about it.

“Are you ready to read my book yet?” she asked me only about a godzillian times through dinner, baths and cleaning up the lounge room. In the end, the girls went to bed half an hour early just so I would hurry up and start reading. If I’d thought of this earlier they could have skipped everything and gone straight in to bed from school.

But the story was not what I, or they, were expecting. It was all scooting along swimmingly until the last couple of pages. There weren’t a lot of words and the piccies were nice. I was doing accents.

I’m bad at accents. The one I chose for Pip the squirrel in this story was Asian. What the kids got was a Asian-Indian-Scottish blend. They didn’t seem to notice though, probably because I do this a lot and it’s the only accent I can (can’t) do.

What they did notice was the lovely heroine dying on her wedding day.


Here’s the last page, word for word:

‘It was magic! The wishing well was enchanted! Giselle sunk lower and lower into the deep well water. Where was she heading? What would she find on the other side? She had no way of knowing. But, deep in her heart, Giselle was certain of one thing: Prince Edward would follow her and rescue her, and they would live happily ever after!’

I stared at the page, horrified.

“Did she just drown?” Miss6 wanted to know.

“No,” I stammered as I flicked back and forward through the last few pages and over to the back cover. “It’s a well full of magic water she can breathe.” Magic, breathable water! Who writes this stuff? I grew up on a healthy diet of Peter Pan and Mary Poppins, and even I wasn’t buying this shite.

“She died?” Miss3 asked me.

“Of course not,” I assured her.

“Looks like she drowned,” said Miss6, pointing at the picture. It sure did.

“Well she doesn’t. I know. I’ve seen the movie.” I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every frame of Disney and Pixar they’ve ever officially released. I may not remember a lot of the individual movie details but I know they all have happy endings.

Until now, it seems.

There was only one thing to do.

“Tracey!” When she appeared at the door I turned the book cover so she could see it. “We’ve seen this one, right?” I confirmed. She agreed we had. “And does the evil step-mother usually win when we watch the movie?”

Luckily, Tracey remembered enough of the movie to fill in a few of the details and the girls went to bed happy, but I really have to wonder about any children’s book publisher who puts into print something which ends like that, even if there is supposedly a series of little kiddy books working their way through the plot.

Have you had any children’s book disasters? Here’s another one which had me shaking my head A Piece Of Cake.



When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes

Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’  Facebook Page.

 ’raising a family on little more than laughs’




  • We have a 3 and a 2 year olds…. Dumbo was an epic fail. ” why can’t the baby be with his mummy? Why are his Aunties laughing at him? . How come he has to leave his mummy? ” Uncontrollable tears for 4 hours, sobs whenever she thought of the movie and a little shadow for 2 days so that she made sure she was always with her mummy! Little Red Riding hood and her granny are eaten by the wolf. The woodcutter cuts the wolf open to get them out. The 3 little pigs boil the wolf in their story in a pot of hot water! Disney and related tales are scary.

  • My 4yo daughter brought home one of these books, and it made little to no sense in isolation!

  • Hey! You will be glad to know she didn’t die. That is a prequel book to Disneys movie Enchanted. Just watch that with your kids (and it has the worst acting I have ever seen), but you will feel much better!

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