A frothy bit of storytelling and soft, squiggly art full of easily recognized folk from other tales.
Fern wants a story before bedtime, as she sits surrounded by her stuffies and toys. But the babysitter is rushing to put the baby to bed, so wishing she were a princess, Fern opens her own book—and falls into it. The fairy godmother is fixing a leak in the fairy-dust machine and can’t grant any wishes, so Fern heads off to the castle, followed by a couple of blind mice. The frog prince is brushing his teeth, and the wolf is gently caring for a few piglets (“Bad behavior is just my day job,” he notes). She doesn’t even notice the troll under the bridge, but the giant, who is directing air traffic (Mother Goose, a dragonet, a fairy, etc.), shows her the way to the princess’s castle. She finds the princess reading aloud to a large gathering of storybook characters. When Fern asks her what it’s like to be a princess, the answer lands with a thud. Readers might wonder about the princess’s complaint: She is subject to starched collars and teased hair when she’d really rather just read a book.
Despite the can’t-miss lesson, it’s nice that storytime is such a big deal, even in the castle, and children will enjoy seeing all the familiar characters gathered here. (Picture book. 4-8)