Round little Ivy learns from her kindhearted (if a bit disorganized) grandmother that caring for the sick and injured brings great rewards.
In the fairyland town of Broomsweep, every garden is tidy and every front porch is spotless, except at Grandmother Meg’s cottage. But Grandmother is famous for taking care of injured and sick animals. Ivy helps her nurse a sneezing chipmunk, a sad fox, and a three-legged griffin. When the new queen announces a contest to select the best town in the land, the villagers (especially the mayor's wife, Mistress Peevish) become alarmed. How could they be selected the best town with all these sick and dirty creatures destroying the neighborhood? Matters become worse when a dragon seeks Meg’s care. But the villain is not a fire-breathing dragon—it is the mayor’s wife, whose dog wriggles away from her grasp, to be rescued, of course, by one of Grandmother’s patients. With steady pacing, Coville gives readers a pixie’s view of the action, fluttering close enough to hear the characters’ conversations; Kaspar’s occasional pencil sketches bring warmth and compassion to the characters. White Ivy is a gentle heroine, converting a young bully into an ally.
There is value in escaping to a fairyland with magical creatures and a happy ending, and readers will relish this story in which the bullies are beaten by kindness and compassion, even if it gets a little messy. (Fantasy. 6-9)