Kitchen Table Reviews: Gone With the Wand
This fairy tale with a modern twist will appeal to younger kids up to tweens.
How do you make a fairy tale palatable to both small children and slightly older kids who aren''t so much interested in princesses and shining knights anymore? You enlist the help of Edith B. Cuspid, Tooth Fairy Second Class, to tell your story from her unique point of view. The end result is a delightful tale for even tweens to enjoy, as it borrows bits from conventional fairy tales and fits them into this thoroughly modern saga about how sometimes even fairies need a little help.
Me: I thought this book was adorable.
Daughter: Yeah, it was really cute. But funny, too, so it wasn't too cutesy.
Son: I liked it a lot—it was funny story with a happy ending.
Me: What was this a story about?
Son: It's about how her friend who used to be a fairy godmother is having trouble with her powers and now she needs a new job. So she tries all kinds of other fairy jobs, like snow fairy and sugar plum fairy, but she can't find one she's good at. Like, she can't be a sugar plum fairy 'cause she eats all the sweets.
Me: And she can't be a snow fairy because her wings ice up over Buffalo!
Daughter: Heh. That part was funny. Also it's about friends. Edith, who tells the story, is a really good and encouraginig friend to Bernice while they figure it out.
Son: I really liked the drawings. There were lots of things from other fairy tales tucked in the pictures, and that was kind of cool.
Me: Did you notice places where the typeface was in different colors or written differently? Did that remind you of anything?
Son: Geronimo Stilton!
Me: Yeah, that's what I was thinking of. Do you think it makes it more fun to read, that way, for emerging readers?
Daughter: Why are you looking at me? I don't know. I haven't been an emerging reader for years.
[Someone got up on the wrong side of the wand today. Just saying.]
Me: I just have one more question. Do you believe in the tooth fairy?
Me: And did she write this book?
Son: Of course not. She's just a tooth-fairy-in-training.
Me: Oh, right. Of course. Anything to add?
Daughter: No comment. But I did think it was a good book. You know, for littler kids. Maybe four to eight.
Me: Duly noted.
Pros: Tying together of traditional fairy tale elements with modern humor. Beautiful artwork. Underneath the main story, it's also a sweet tale of friendship.
Cons: Broken wands. Being too old to believe in the tooth fairy. Might be a little long and/or involved for very young readers.
Gone with the Wand gets three thumbs up (and a couple of wishes for a fairy godmother) from our kitchen table.