A German import introduces a character who’s akin to the American Strawberry Shortcake.
Frolicking in puddles is fun on the first day of a rainstorm, but after a week, poor Evie the Strawberry Fairy’s teapot house is flooded and her strawberry patch sodden, its fruit at risk of rotting. With the help of friends Brightwing Butterfly and Briar the Blackberry Fairy, she sets out on a rhubarb-leaf raft to seek shelter at the fairy tree. Alas, Skye the Air Fairy tells her there’s no room, but intrepid Evie searches until she finds an old, fallen birdhouse. Other fairy folk (all of whom appear white with light skin and rosy cheeks) help her make it a cozy home-away-from-home, and she replants her strawberries. Then she dashes back to her flooded teapot house to invite her former neighbors the ladybugs to live nearby in a little home she builds for them so they can protect her plants from the “cheeky” greenflies. A closing scene shows Evie stretched out on the grass beside Brightwing, “enjoying the sweet smell of strawberries and the warm sunshine on her bare toes.” It’s a home-and-away story without the homecoming resolution typical to children’s stories, which enhances rather than undermines its charm. Fairy-house aficionados untroubled by the all-white cast will enjoy exploring the detailed illustrations’ play with scale, and it will fit right in with other springtime storytime fare.
Sweet. (Picture book. 3-6)