Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Night Fairy by Laura Schlitz

I wasn’t sure book on fairies could interest me much. Yawn. How many times (after Artemis Fowl anyway) can fairy characters be refreshed?

You can do it at least once more if you’re a storyteller. Laura Schlitz is.

Flory, a night fairy, becomes a day fairy by choice after a bat mistakes her for a meal and crushes her wings before spitting her out. She takes up residence in a wren house hung in a “giant’s” garden. Flory copes with her loss by getting a squirrel, hummingbird, and finally a bat to carry her.

This is one of those winning stories that educates while entertaining. Fairies do not have parental training. They are on their own only 3 days after birth. Flory learns her important moral lessons from her interaction with the other creatures in the garden. There are a number of ethical battles fought here, but one of my favorites is how Flory must deal with her fear and anger toward bats after almost being eaten by one:

If a person—whether she is human or fairy—spends most of her time thinking of ways to sting, it is bound to show. In the weeks that followed, Flory practiced her stinging spell so often that she began to have rather a prickly look. Her nose and chin grew more pointed, as did the tips of her ears.”

Too true. But you’ll like how Flory learns and grows in conscience. The loss of her wings turns out temporary, but the virtuous gains in her soul are for life.

Our copy of the book was enhanced by beautiful pictured illustrated by Angela Barrett. Look for that version if you want to give it as a gift.

It might make a lovely read-aloud for multiple ages…



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