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.