by Gail Carson Levine, published 2007
“After drying her eyes on a leafkerchief, Rani kicked off her sensible walking shoes and slipped into the lagoon. of all the fairies, Rani was the only one who could swim, and that was because she had no wings to drag her under.”
First, a disclaimer: I couldn’t reconcile the cartoonish pictures with this well-written children’s book. Then I asked our school librarian, and discovered that this talented author had a series of children’s books created for Disney. That explained it all. So, if you are not particularly interested in Disney-quality, pass this.
However, that aside, this is a wonderfully long children’s book about fairies, written to be read aloud, or independently. Children under 9 who still know fairies are real will love this book. It has a very important and real message, about learning to leave well enough alone, and accepting oneself as you are. But that is not done in a heavy way at all. Rather, we are on a very important mission to save a small fairy land by finding a fairy wand.
I couldn’t put this children’s book down. I had to know if their mission would succeed. And of course it does.
In addition to a variety of fairies we’ve never met, we also meet a fairy named Tink. Guess where she’s from? Yes, Neverland, and Peter Pan is a small part of the adventure as well.
The elements of the adventure, and the interesting way that the fairies come alive, makes this a reasonably good children’s book, if you can overcome the commercial aspect of it. The truth is that Gail Carson Levine is a gift children’s book author, and even Disney can’t mess her writing up, even if they add garish images! Though it is a shame she had to sell out to them in order to get published.