Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyMills (Elfabet) and Nolan (Dinosaur Dream) pack everything but the glass slippers into this dainty sylvan romance starring a wingless fairy. Fia endures the disdain of her arrogant sisters and their high-brow society, ``flying'' inelegantly about the woodland on the wings of Crow and playing with Rat and Frog. But when the dreaded slobbering troll crashes the May Dance (from which Fia has been bounced) and snares the flying folk, Fia and her outcast friends come to the rescue. Fia's heroism occurs within the familiar plot of an incognito prince who admires the ragamuffin fairy's independence and self-respect, and the tale, not surprisingly, ends with a wedding. Mills embroiders the text with a raft of fairy paraphernalia likely to captivate the dollhouse set: Fia fashions a tiny boat from the discarded eggshell of a goose and uses a holly leaf as her oar; Fia's mother weaves a dress from ``the finest milkweed down''; etc. The watercolor illustrations, a sort of sugary step-child of Arthur Rackham's work, push the book toward greeting-card charm. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Susie WildeThis tale is born of folk and fairy traditions, but it is an original story that will speak clearly to today's children. Fia is the only fairy born without wings in her kingdom. She is creative and loving, though laughed at by her sisters and excluded by the other fairy folk. She is a heroine who dares to be different, retains her true spirit, and triumphs because of her pluck and love. This long picture book is broken gently into sections a family will enjoy night after night, reading after reading.
Children's Literature - Michelle H. MartinFia is a fairy who suffers the misfortune of being born without wings. Rejected by her sisters, Fia entertains herself alone in the forest until she meets a fairy boy, Kip. With the encouragement of her animal friends, Fia attends the May ball and ends up saving her family and the other fairies from an evil troll, and also winning the hand of Kip who is, in fact, a prince. Uncharacteristic of fairy tales, Fia is complex: she gets angry and frustrated, she cries, she displays vanity, pride and joy, and with the help of a few close friends, this strong female protagonist uses her wit to defeat a giant. Fia, in fact, rescues her prince. The exquisitely detailed illustrations make this book visually compelling.
School Library JournalK-Gr 3-Lovely illustrations, reminiscent of Arthur Rachkam's ethereal style, are weighted down by a pedestrian plot. Fia is the only fairy without wings. Shunned because of her difference, she amuses herself by befriending woodland creatures and creating alternative modes of transport. When she meets a handsome young stranger who invites her to the annual May Dance, fairy-tale fans will quickly guess that he is a prince. Daunted at first by her sisters' petty cruelty, Fia overcomes her fears and attends the dance with the help of Frog, Crow, and Rat. Prince Hyacinth welcomes her, but his parents' objection causes her to leave in disgrace. She redeems herself, however, when she prevents the fairies' loss of their wings at the hands of a troll. The story ends with the promise of a wedding. While young readers may enjoy the appealing illustrations and feel some sympathy for Fia, the lengthy text, predictability of the plot, and shallow characterization all combine to weaken the book's appeal. Wait for a more successful collaboration from this undeniably talented couple.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Susan Dove LempkeIn Mills' land of fairies, gossamer wings are prized above all, and Fia is the only fairy without them. In spite of that (and despite her habit of playing with "earthy" creatures like frogs and rats), a boy fairy steals a kiss and invites her to the May Dance. Fia's ingenuity and her earthbound friends save the day when a troll captures the fairies at the dance and prepares to cut off their wings. The writing tends to be syrupy, and too often comments are made "haughtily" or "saucily" or with a similar descriptor, but Mills still manages to create a magical fairy atmosphere that will enchant some readers. Delicate, detailed watercolors add greatly to the book's appeal, with Nolan's ugly troll providing an appropriate shiver. This will make a good read-aloud, but because it contains more text than the usual picture book, the reading might be stretched over two or three sessions.
- Little, Brown and Company
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.82(w) x 11.29(h) x 0.37(d)
- Age Range:
- 5 - 8 Years
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