Written by Sue Fliess, Illustrated by Claire Keane
Henry Holt and Company, 2016
There are fairies in the sky.
The plot in a nutshell: How to make friends with a fairy.
Fairies are all around, flying through the sky and flittering all around, even if you can’t see them. If you’d like to make friends with one, you need to know where to look for them. And if you can’t find one, you can create a special space that will entice a fairy to come to you. Just build a house from twigs and flowers, decorate it with all sorts of plants and flowers and leave a cup of flower-petal stew. Then offer her your hand and speak quietly to keep her calm. Your new fairy friend will teach you how to fly, share her magic with you, keep you safe and be your friend forever. When it’s time for her to go, though, let her be free and someday, she may come back to you.
Author Sue Fliess gives us a book that is sure to be a big hit with anyone obsessed with fairies, especially considering that it shares tips for finding a fairy friend of your own. Of course, this means the book is catering to kids with big imaginations. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that kids who loved this book have spent hours collecting sticks and flowers to build fairy houses of their own. Heck, I wanted to try my hand at building and decorating a fairy house. I love that the author stresses the fact that this is a friendship and not an acquisition and that the fairy is free to come and go as she pleases, because this is important to remember about any friend.
The gorgeous illustrations come from Claire Keane, whose work has been seen in the Disney films Frozen and Tangled and whose artistic pedigree includes Disney Legend Glenn Keane and classic Family Circus cartoonist Bil Keane. Ms. Keane uses watercolor and Photoshop to create this beautifully colored world and populate it with flowers and fairies and a particularly lovable dog, who sticks close to the main girl’s side. We get to see the girl and her fairy friends through all the seasons, providing lots of really lovely images that will stay with me long after I’ve finished the book.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that any friends, no matter who or what they are, should be treated with kindness and respect if you want them to be your friends forever.