This gently magical outing will appeal not only to longtime lovers of European folklore, but also to fans of the popular...

BACKYARD FAIRIES

In this gentle picture book, a sturdy, redheaded, rosy-cheeked girl searches for fairies in her backyard—and invites readers to come along.

Have you ever found, while out on your own… // A tiny, magical somebody’s home? // Or sensed a fluttering, flickering flight… / gone when you turn, just out of sight?” the protagonist asks. On each spread, the girl and readers search for fairies and other magical creatures; the girl “sees” the magic but keeps missing the little magicians, which will greatly amuse young readers, who will delight in spotting them. “You might leave an offering, / then you discover, / it’s vanished by morning, / replaced with another.” Here the girl misses at least three fairies as she gazes at a nest in the middle of a fairy ring. When the girl wonders whether the fairies are out there at all, the fairies finally reply—by placing a floral fairy crown on her head. Wahl’s old-time–y, vignette-style illustrations, done in watercolor, colored pencil, and collage, depicting vibrant woodlands evoke classic, Western fairy-tale tropes, and the playful, hand-drawn text reinforces the lightness and sprightliness of the subject matter. Though quite different in subject, Wahl’s sophomore effort is just as delightful as her 2015 debut, Sonya’s Chickens. Human-shaped fairies display a range of skin tones.

This gently magical outing will appeal not only to longtime lovers of European folklore, but also to fans of the popular “fairy door” phenomenon. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-1527-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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A surprisingly nuanced lesson set in confidence-building, easy-to-decode text.

BO'S MAGICAL NEW FRIEND

From the Unicorn Diaries series , Vol. 1

A unicorn learns a friendship lesson in this chapter-book series opener.

Unicorn Bo has friends but longs for a “bestie.” Luckily, a new unicorn pops into existence (literally: Unicorns appear on especially starry nights) and joins Bo at the Sparklegrove School for Unicorns, where they study things like unicorn magic. Each unicorn has a special power; Bo’s is granting wishes. Not knowing what his own might be distresses new unicorn Sunny. When the week’s assignment is to earn a patch by using their unicorn powers to help someone, Bo hopes Sunny will wish to know Bo's power (enabling both unicorns to complete the task, and besides, Bo enjoys Sunny’s company and wants to help him). But when the words come out wrong, Sunny thinks Bo was feigning friendship to get to grant a wish and earn a patch, setting up a fairly sophisticated conflict. Bo makes things up to Sunny, and then—with the unicorns friends again and no longer trying to force their powers—arising circumstances enable them to earn their patches. The cheerful illustrations feature a sherbet palette, using patterns for texture; on busy pages with background colors similar to the characters’ color schemes, this combines with the absence of outlines to make discerning some individual characters a challenge. The format, familiar to readers of Elliott’s Owl Diaries series, uses large print and speech bubbles to keep pages to a manageable amount of text.

A surprisingly nuanced lesson set in confidence-building, easy-to-decode text. (Fantasy. 5-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-32332-0

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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