Fun, fairy adventures for tweens who appreciate frills, sparkles and a clever female protagonist.

ENJELLA UPROOTED

A TOOTH FAIRY GETS A NEW JOB

Holy Molar! A lower-order tween fairy overcomes the naysayers to introduce modernization into the sparkly, twinkly tooth-fairy trade in Collen’s debut novel for tweens.

All fairy people (Fleeple) in Sparkleshire have roles in the “collecting and re-engineering of human baby teeth,” and Enjella, who sorts teeth, is no exception. But, being a girl, Enjella has the potential to become a First Class Tooth Fairy. The boy fairies (Flandles)—who are angry because they can never be tooth fairies—relentlessly tease and mistreat her. Enjella has another problem—condescension from her co-workers—who don’t respect her inventive ideas for improving Fleeple life and consider her a show-off. Just when her life seems most miserable, two life-changing events occur: A mysterious blue fairy saves Enjella from a police Fleeple who was ticketing her for falling on the village green, and the Queen of the Fairies promotes her from a low-level tooth sorter to Third Class Tooth Fairy Assistant. Even when Enjella’s first assignment turns out to be as an assistant to the notorious Ghastly Gevinda, she gets support from the blue fairy, who becomes her best friend and watches over and encourages her. But as Enjella learns to fly tooth-fairy routes and tries to introduce her innovations for computerizing the fairy trade, things never go smoothly, and she flits from one adventure to another, until she finally faces her biggest challenge: the fairy equivalent of a court martial for interacting with a child. The Fairy Vocabulary list, which seems intended to help younger readers, includes invented words unique to Sparkleshire and a list of difficult vocabulary by chapter, but it’s not very useful because it lacks definitions and misses some obvious candidates for inclusion (such as molar, bicuspids and grandeur), with the result that this book will challenge the readers who are most likely to enjoy and relate to a story of a girl outwitting the meanies and coming into her own.

Fun, fairy adventures for tweens who appreciate frills, sparkles and a clever female protagonist.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0985573201

Page Count: 246

Publisher: Streamline Brands

Review Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2012

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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THE NAME JAR

Unhei has just left her Korean homeland and come to America with her parents. As she rides the school bus toward her first day of school, she remembers the farewell at the airport in Korea and examines the treasured gift her grandmother gave her: a small red pouch containing a wooden block on which Unhei’s name is carved. Unhei is ashamed when the children on the bus find her name difficult to pronounce and ridicule it. Lesson learned, she declines to tell her name to anyone else and instead offers, “Um, I haven’t picked one yet. But I’ll let you know next week.” Her classmates write suggested names on slips of paper and place them in a jar. One student, Joey, takes a particular liking to Unhei and sees the beauty in her special stamp. When the day arrives for Unhei to announce her chosen name, she discovers how much Joey has helped. Choi (Earthquake, see below, etc.) draws from her own experience, interweaving several issues into this touching account and delicately addressing the challenges of assimilation. The paintings are done in creamy, earth-tone oils and augment the story nicely. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-80613-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2001

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