Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Small Readers: Flower Wings: Marigold Fairy makes a friend by Elizabeth Dennis, illustrated by Natalie Smillie

My first thought was that this was just another fairy series, like the Rainbow Magic books. However, when I first read one, I found that they were much more than I had expected.

This story features the Marigold Fairy. All of the fairies in the land of the Flower Wings have magical powers from the flowers they belong to. Marigold, with dark skin, a tower of rich, curly, black hair, and a full skirt of bright yellow petals, takes after her flower. She keeps pests out of the garden and makes the vegetables grow big. She’s best friends with Butterfly and usually the pests all leave when they ask them to. But one day they discover a baby bunny is eating all their carrots! Are all pests bad? Can they learn to live with the pests and share with them?

Gardeners won’t be very amused by the solution, which involves all the pests participating in growing food together, but it fits in with the theme of friendship in the book. A final page talks about the “science behind the story” and explains how marigolds work, their uses in the garden, and the interaction between butterflies and marigolds.

The colors are bright and cheerful, with lots of brilliant greens and glowing yellows and oranges. The animals all look cute and cuddly (even the snails) and most of the text is clear and easy to read against the backgrounds. It’s a low level easy reader with a few more complex vocabulary words - in my library it gets a red sticker, which is for beginning readers, one step up from emergent readers with just one or two words per page.

Verdict: Although the story is kind of trite, the bright, cheerful pictures are very attractive and the addition of some facts makes this stand out from the usual fairy fare. Recommend to beginning readers who like fairies and animals and to fans of the Rainbow Magic easy readers.
ISBN: 9781534411746; Published 2018 by Simon Spotlight; Purchased for the library

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