Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Mud Fairy

Emmalina is no ordinary fairy.  She is dissatisfied with a life of "sipping dew drops and nibbling pollen pie" without slurping, gulping, or burping. Doing dainty fairy things does not appeal to her. She would rather play in the mud with the frogs. Unfortunately for Emmalina, she has turned one hundred years old and has to earn her wings. Attempts at opening flowers, creating rainbows, or stringing dewdrops are unsuccessful and leave Emmalina discouraged and without wings. With the help of her frog friends, she finds a way to be herself and earn her wings at the same time.

As the father of two daughters, I have been exposed to many forms of dreadful fairy stories. Thankfully, Amy Young's The Mud Fairy does not fall into this category.  The story is engaging with a great message about being true to yourself. I like the different spin on the fairy story. It's clever to have a fairy who is not dainty.  This makes for a good lesson on contrast (compare with other fairy stories) and/or point of view. Young's pastel illustrations are humorous, especially the page with Emmalina teaching the frogs to catch a fly.

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