Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Piper Green and the Fairy Tree

Piper Green and the Fairy Tree

Ellen Potter
Illustrator:  Qin Leng 
Fiction  Series
For ages 6 to 8
Random House, 2015   ISBN: 978-0553499230

On the first day of school Piper comes to the breakfast table wearing her big brother’s monkey earmuffs. Erik has left the family home on Peek-a-boo Island to attend high school on the mainland, and he gave Piper his earmuffs before he left. Piper is missing Erik a great deal and wearing his earmuffs helps her feel just a little bit better. When Piper’s mother sees her daughter’s rather unusual headgear, she tells Piper that she is going to have to take off the earmuffs if her teacher, Ms. Gibbs, tells her to. Piper hopes that Ms. Gibbs, who is a very easygoing teacher, won’t mind if she wears the earmuffs in class.

It turns out that Ms. Gibbs is no longer the second-and-third-grade teacher at Mink Island School. Piper is going to have a new teacher who is called Ms. Arabella and who looks like a princess. Though Ms. Arabella is sweetly pretty, this does not mean that she does not have very definite ideas about what is, and what is not, appropriate for her classroom. Ms. Arabella quickly makes it clear that she has no intention of letting Piper wear earmuffs in class. Piper is sent home with a letter for her parents and her parents tell her that she is going to have to give up wearing her earmuffs in Ms. Arabella’s class.

The next morning Piper starts to go to school, but she does not end up getting on the boat that conveys the Peek-a-boo Island students to Mink Island, which is where their school is located. Instead, she climbs a tree and there she stays. Piper never imagines that her hiding place is a not just any tree. It is a special tree that harbors secrets and treasures.

This charming little chapter book is going to delight readers who are starting to read books on their own. The setting of the story is magical, the characters are engaging, and Piper’s voice is genuine and often sweetly funny.