Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong and sweet character, May 25, 2011
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This review is from: The Very Fairy Princess Takes the Stage (Hardcover)
Growing up I wasn't at all into the fairy thing; tiaras, pink, wands, ballet etc but make-believe - yes, exuberance - yes, star performance - yes, spunky kindness - yes! So while naturally I have never gravitated towards princess stories, I simply love the Very Fairy Princess books by Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton. It is the character, Gerry, who tugs on my heartstrings. Sure, I love the tomboy side of scabby knees and undone sneakers, but it is the confidence and determination not to allow other people or circumstances to rob her of that core identity - that inner SPARKLE. The first book sets the scene, but for me, the sequel really sees Gerry's character developing and maturing. Her humor, mischievousness, charm, grit and kindness sparkle through her tribulation of being cast as the court jester instead of the Crystal Princess in the ballet show. I think I too would have lost a good dose of my sparkle at this obvious miscasting!! - And the ignominy of having to wear a green and yellow jester suit, including silly hat (under which she hides her tiara). I won't spoil how our princess enables the show and cast to sparkle despite a mid-show crisis, but needless to say Gerry more than rises to the occasion.

In this book Julie and Emma have included just the right amount of similarities with the prequel to reassure us that we will enjoy the second as much as the first, yet thrill us with the exciting new on-stage plot. The delightful asides remain (I just HAVE to say these out loud, even when I am reading to myself!) and an effective use of capitals for emphasis. I always appreciate this duos' commitment to strong vocabulary in their children's books, not fearing to add a couple of words that I am convinced will be memorized by young readers and reused in their own stories. I have already ordered more copies for my younger friends!

This is a resoundingly successful sequel and I can't wait for more in the series. Christine Davenier's illustrations capture Gerry's indomitable spirit and sweep us through the pages with playful grace. If I am anything to go by, I think Gerry appeals to tomboys and princesses alike. As an adult the story makes me check that my own inner sparkle is still shining. I just wish they made the pyjamas in my size!
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