by Diane Zahler, published 2011
“Elves,” I whispered. Dressed in fur and velvet, silk and satin, they noiselessly took their places at the table, standing behind their chairs. The candles all lighted in unison, and then the Elf-King came into the clearing.”
Sometimes a children’s book is just a way to pass some time in another world, watching someone else deal with good and evil, fortune and misfortune. Later, like a dream, the details fade away. I waited two weeks before reviewing this children’s book, and at first, I really couldn’t even remember what it was about, or why I liked it. And yet, when I looked through its pages again, I realized that it had held my attention completely. What accounts for that? The delight in meeting new characters, the interest in visiting fantastic realms, like that of the elves, and, the utterly satisfying and happy ending to the story.
This children’s book is a good example of the kind of book that a child who has learned to read adequately can just take on their own, and curl up to enjoy. There’s nothing really to figure out in this book, except to hope that all ends well. I do love the characters as they are quite noble in their loyalty to each other. The title, of course, gives the ending away, but that’s fine. It’s no surprise that the heroine turns out to be a true princess, and yet it is fun to figure out how it all came to pass. And of course, this princess goes beyond the stereotype as she is a young girl with immense fearlessness and strength.
If your child enjoys uplifting fantasy, with no real dangers or evil, this is a terrific choice. (Warning to parents shopping, there are many books with a similar title, so be sure to check the author as well.)