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


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


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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The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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