Enchanting stuff for lovers of fairies.

A FAIRY FRIEND

A little girl and her dog follow a series of recommended procedures from a book about fairies in order to find a fairy companion for the girl.

The story begins by explaining that fairies exist “all around you,” riding around on the backs of dragonflies. In rhyming text with just four lines per spread, the world of the fairies is introduced, with the omniscient narrator explaining how to attract a fairy of your own. The dark-haired, white child and her bulldog work together to build a fairy house in a tree, complete with a mushroom-cap bathtub, a bed covered in thistle fluff, and a cup of flower-petal stew. A flock of friendly fairies (one dark-skinned) flutters around the girl and her dog, and after further preparations, a redheaded white fairy lands on the child’s hand to be her special fairy friend. A dreamlike atmosphere prevails, with the fairies playing with the girl and dog and helping them to fly above the town and forest. Charming illustrations in a loose style use a muted palette of lavenders and blues to create a magical aura with swirling lines and tiny trails of stars following the fairies, who are mostly light-skinned, pretty creatures in the style of Tinker Bell à la Disney.

Enchanting stuff for lovers of fairies. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-081-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2016

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Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween.

PUMPKIN MAGIC

Magical moonbeams awaken a pumpkin patch to raucous Halloween-season revelry.

A moonbeam illuminates and energizes a smiley-faced pumpkin sitting alone on a stair; it promptly takes off to find a friend with whom to have a good time. An entire pumpkin patch, also sparked by the magical moon, instantly comes alive. And what merriment all the grinning gourds get up to! Their playful shenanigans include piling high on top of one another, bouncing on a trampoline, dancing, marching, and drumming, wearing costumes, and competing in games. They even engage in activities usually reserved for other holiday-themed icons—flying on brooms and making magic, for instance. As dawn approaches, the pumpkin leader escorts the cavalcade back home. At sunrise, each one takes up residence on a different house’s front porch and awaits that evening’s moonbeams to work their magic again. Liveliness and good cheer abound in this frisky rhyming tale in which the perennial holiday symbols naturally take center stage. Perky couplets that read and scan very well appear on most pages and are accompanied by energetic, expressive illustrations that highlight vivid oranges, yellows, blues, purples, and greens with touches of other bright shades.

Readers will delight in discovering the joyous time pumpkins have when it’s Halloween. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-56332-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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This magical wisp of a story has an imaginative message for both planners and improvisers.

JULIA'S HOUSE MOVES ON

From the Julia's House series

Julia decides to pack up and move her House for Lost Creatures, creating a host of problems with unexpected results.

Julia has taken in a cacophony of lost creatures: dwarves, trolls, and goblins, a singular rarity of a mermaid, and a patchwork cat, among others. But now, the house feels ready for a move. As the ghost starts to fade and the mermaid languishes, Julia puts her plan into action—packing books and stacking boxes. The move quickly turns into a series of catastrophes. Trying to retain the facade of control, Julia is dismayed to see her plans making things worse. Knowledge of the previous title, Julia’s House for Lost Creatures (2014), is a helpful introduction, as Hatke turns the solution of the first book into the problem for this one. With skillful pacing, the story has messages for both planners and creatives. The problems seem beyond resolution, keeping readers in gleeful suspended tension. While the first book introduced readers to the gnomish folletti, a hedgehoglike ghillie comes to a dramatic rescue here. There are two disparate messages in one story: Kindness will be returned, and it is OK to not have a plan. Connecting them together are lush illustrations that stretch the mind and add details to mythic beasts. Julia presents white. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.5-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 25% of actual size.)

This magical wisp of a story has an imaginative message for both planners and improvisers. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-19137-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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