In Hennessy's (One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims) congenial tale, a girl named Claire and her stuffed unicorn set out for dreamland in search of what would make someone "happy forever." Newcomer Mitchell's landscape of make-believe is a feast for the eyes; breezy sailboats float by as teacups, and delectable lollipops grow like trees. Along their journey, the duo encounters a variety of storybook characters, some of whom Claire can identify. But before long she stumbles upon an exception-a frog prince that, much to her surprise, prefers flies for his happily-ever-after. And Fairy Godmother admits, "I don't believe I've ever heard the same wish twice." Once Claire and Capricorn inevitably learn that happiness does not come in a one-size-fits-all, readers also gain a broader perspective on the world. In the lighthearted, childlike ending, Claire shares her discovery with her father the next morning, who then asks, "What would make my little princess happy?" The answer? Pancakes. Ages 3-8. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
What is it precisely that makes a person happy forever? This is the burning question our heroine Claire asks her father after reading one of the many fairy tales he has shared with his unicorn-loving daughter at bedtime. Dad has a convenient bedtime suggestion: Claire should think about it overnight and let him know what her answer is in the morning. This, as we know, means Claire is going to dream about it. She flies on the back of her unicorn Capricorn to a magical land where she meets several fairytale types, like a princess, and some un-fairy tale types, like the Library Fairy. Each has a different answer. This, Claire and her father conclude, is just as it should be. Although the story is a bit predictable and slight, little princesses who are fans of fairy tales will enjoy this picture book very much. The full-color illustrations are frothy confections of jewel tones and rich textures, very dreamlike and fanciful. 2006, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Ages 4 to 6.
K-Gr 3-After listening to her father read a story with a fairy-tale ending, Claire drifts off to sleep, wondering what would make someone happy forever. In her dreams, her stuffed unicorn comes to life and the two of them travel through the world of make-believe to find the answer to her question. The first creature she talks to is the Library Fairy, who requires only "a good book and some peace and quiet" to be happy. They also encounter a princess, a frog prince, a fairy godmother, and a wishing well. Each of the fanciful beings answers the little girl's polite inquiries in a different way, and she realizes, "Maybe it's one of those questions that doesn't really have just one answer." When Claire wakes up the next morning, she tells her father about her philosophical findings. He praises her sensible conclusions and makes his "little princess" happy with a big pancake breakfast. This imaginative tale is illustrated with lush, richly hued watercolors. Each picture is filled with romantic details that mirror the whimsical flavor of the story. This pleasant, if somewhat long-winded, journey to the land of imagination will delight fairy-tale fans, who will identify with its inquisitive heroine.-Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
A little girl wonders what it is that makes her fairytale characters happy forever after and takes a magical nighttime journey with her stuffed unicorn to find the answer. Claire and Capricorn ask many of the people and animals they meet what makes them happy, but they never get the same answer. One princess just wants a soft, comfortable bed to sleep on (without a pea?), while another is looking for true love. A (frog) prince loves to eat flies; a fairy looks for peace, quiet and a good book. By the end of their journey the pair realizes that what makes a person happy ever after depends upon who that person is-different people like different things. Hennessy and Mitchell have teamed up to add richer detail to every child's imaginings of this world. Mitchell's watercolors are amazingly detailed and filled with charming details that every fairytale connoisseur will recognize. Readers will especially enjoy identifying their favorite characters. A good entry to the topic of diversity, and an extension to traditional fairy tale collections. (Picture book. 4-8)