What do fairies like to eat? Follow the charming Piccadilly to the fairy ring and find out.
On the longest day of the year, the fairies throw a huge party and dance—what else?—the polka. Normally, people can’t see fairies, but the extra sunlight on the summer solstice is captured by the dewdrops, “which triggers a speck of summer delight…which inspires the glow of the fairies!” Or so the fairy prince eventually explains to the delighted Piccadilly, a grinning little girl with a round belly and rounder cheeks. One night, she watches her cat, Rufus, stare intently at a circle of overgrown flowers in the backyard. Probably fireflies, her mother says. But Piccadilly hears “fairy flies” and that night dreams of fairies eating cake. So the next day she enlists her brother’s help in baking a batch of cupcakes. She arranges them in a ring in the garden, right where Rufus had been staring, and unwittingly summons the fairy prince. (Or, maybe, as her mother suggests, she was just dreaming under the tree. “I wish my dreams were as fun as yours,” she says.) Piccadilly’s wide-eyed approach to everything in the world—the real world and the fairy world—is absolutely irresistible. She jumps out of bed in the morning, runs to the garden, dances, bakes, charms her family and fearlessly greets a magical creature, without the slightest skepticism. And it’s clear where little Piccadilly learned her open-mindedness: While both Mom and brother smile wryly at Piccadilly’s tales, neither one teases her or tells her she’s mistaken. What a joy to grow up in a house where fairies are welcome and treated to cake. Novelline (The Dance of Spring, 2011) winds out a story that’s complex enough to bear repeated readings. Light’s illustrations are bright and lively, with colors and shapes that evoke old-school animated films like Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. While all the characters are likable and strong, Piccadilly’s cheeks and nose steal the show.
A warm, vibrant read. It would be wonderful to hear more from Piccadilly and her family.