With help from two sparkly and spunky Elbow Fairies, this action-packed yarn deftly melds fairy-tale magic with real-life...

Storming Back to Key West

THE ENJELLA(TM) ADVENTURES

In Collen’s (Enjella Uprooted, 2012) witty, fact-based fantasy adventure, a brother and sister magically travel to the year 1835, where they weather a violent storm and help a lighthouse keeper save a ship at sea.

Once a Tooth Fairy, Enjella is now an “Elbow Fairy,” the kind of fairy children can count upon to always be “at your elbow whenever you need them.” A young girl named Abigail is Enjella’s personal charge; Elbow Fairy cohort Alicia is assigned to Bennett, Abigail’s older brother. Bennett’s belief in fairies is fading, but Enjella and Alica pop in to transport the siblings to a beach in Key West, Fla., for some sandy, tide-pool fun. A radar-versus-lighthouses debate arises, and Alicia decides that an in-person history lesson is in order. Suddenly, it’s 1835, a hurricane is brewing, and Barbara Mabrity, real-life keeper of the Key West lighthouse, is struggling to clean and refuel the lanterns in time to guide ships through the crashing waves. With the ability to shrink, grow, fly and become invisible, the fairies and their charges help Mrs. Mabrity and her children through the crisis. An adroit mix of fantasy, fact and action, this spunky fairy tale includes one particularly humorous touch: The fairies’ hair and clothing change according to their surroundings, their mood and conversation. When Alicia breaks fairy rules by wafting the children back to the 19th century, Enjella’s disapproval manifests itself in her “suddenly pulled back hair” and a police hat that appears on her head. Lighthouse keeper Mrs. Mabrity sweeps “millions of bugs” out of the big lanterns and Alicia’s hair sprouts fly swatters. Enjella ponders a problem while wearing a “Sherlock Holmes detective hat,” and with the successful outcome of their mission, Alicia sports “a full Navy uniform.” The story ends with Abigail and Bennett back in their own time, but further enjoyable adventures surely await.

With help from two sparkly and spunky Elbow Fairies, this action-packed yarn deftly melds fairy-tale magic with real-life history.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2013

ISBN: 978-0985573225

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Streamline Brands

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2013

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves

MAYBE

A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift.

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BECAUSE I HAD A TEACHER

A paean to teachers and their surrogates everywhere.

This gentle ode to a teacher’s skill at inspiring, encouraging, and being a role model is spoken, presumably, from a child’s viewpoint. However, the voice could equally be that of an adult, because who can’t look back upon teachers or other early mentors who gave of themselves and offered their pupils so much? Indeed, some of the self-aware, self-assured expressions herein seem perhaps more realistic as uttered from one who’s already grown. Alternatively, readers won’t fail to note that this small book, illustrated with gentle soy-ink drawings and featuring an adult-child bear duo engaged in various sedentary and lively pursuits, could just as easily be about human parent- (or grandparent-) child pairs: some of the softly colored illustrations depict scenarios that are more likely to occur within a home and/or other family-oriented setting. Makes sense: aren’t parents and other close family members children’s first teachers? This duality suggests that the book might be best shared one-on-one between a nostalgic adult and a child who’s developed some self-confidence, having learned a thing or two from a parent, grandparent, older relative, or classroom instructor.

A sweet, soft conversation starter and a charming gift. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943200-08-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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