Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bloom by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by David Small

Once upon a time, in a fabulous glass kingdom, there lives a fairy. But she's not an ordinary fairy, she's got big boots and messy hands and is awfully noisy. So the king and all the people ask her to please go away. And she does. But without the fairy, the kingdom begins to fall into disrepair and the most powerful people in the land set out to find the magical being of their legends. One by one they fail, until they send perfectly ordinary Genevieve, cleaner of the queen's silver spoon. Can an ordinary girl succeed where all others have failed?

David Small's illustration style, all messy lines and splashes of color, is perfect for the messy, splashy world of the fairy Bloom where dirty is never bad and nothing is perfect.

I skimmed through this once and thought "too long, to didactic, meh" but then I read it again. And again. And the more I read it, the more I liked it.

Bloom celebrates the power of making, doing, and getting your hands dirty. In Bloom's world there is no such thing as an ordinary girl and hard work and willingness to try, fail, and try again is better than any magical power.

Verdict: This feels like it should be very didactic, a book about the power within us all, etc. etc. and yet....Cronin and Small are such experienced creators that together they have made something wonderful and inspirational, a book that will encourage readers to get out and get dirty, try new things, and never let anyone tell them they're "just" anything. This is too long for a storytime, but it would make a great read-aloud for a class or one-on-one with a child.

ISBN: 9781442406209; Published 2016 by Atheneum; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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