A little girl finds herself caught up in the conflict between fairies and goblins.
Smith’s Imelda lives in a cottage huggermugger to an enchanted forest, complete with fairy queen, sprites, brownie, pixies, sylphs, and so on. One day it’s invaded by the goblin king and his band of gremlin meanies. The fairy queen tries to accommodate the nasty newcomer and his mob, inviting him to the fairy solstice and plying him with sweets, but soon learns he is a greedy, uncouth villain who has no intention of sharing the forest throne with the queen—indeed, he kidnaps her—or anything else the forest has on offer. The fairies turn to Imelda for help, and she concocts a scheme that gives the goblin king a chance to redeem himself before turning him, on the scale of reincarnates, into the lowliest of the lows. The fairies’ insistence on killing the beast with kindness—especially as he’s drawn with such flickering frightfulness—when he would be happy just to throw them in the dungeon makes them come off as a little too angelic for their own good. But the progression of the story is its downfall, with its pat, flat, and predictable characters and failure to provide any twists and turns to keep readers awake.
As magical products come, this one is very thin on the bone. (Picture book. 4-8)