Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Night Fairy

The Night Fairy

Laura Amy Schlitz
Illustrator:  Angela Barrett 
For ages 9 to 12
Candlewick Press, 2010   ISBN: 978-0763636746

Fairy babies are not like human babies. The reason for this is that though fairies make
excellent fairy godmothers, they do not, alas, make good mothers. Newborn fairies can walk and talk straight away, and in only three days, they can leave their mothers for good. Flory the night fairy is three months old and like all her kind, she is out in the world on her own. She is flying around one spring night when a bat swoops down on her and bites her wings. Usually bats and night fairies are on good terms, and the bat quickly realizes that he has made a mistake, but it is too late. Flory’s wings are terribly damaged and she cannot fly.

   The tiny fairy falls and lands in a cherry tree. Flory realizes straight away that she is in a giant’s garden. Typically fairies make a point of staying away from human habitation, but there is nothing Flory can do. For now at least she is stuck.

   Flory takes shelter in an abandoned bird house, and in the morning she takes stock of her situation. Flory has never been awake in the daytime before, but now that she has no wings, she might as well become a day fairy. She makes herself a dress out of cherry blossom petals, gets herself a meal, and watches what is going on in the garden. She sees an old giantess put seed in a bird feeder, and then she watches a squirrel take seed out of the long plastic tube. When the squirrel shows too much interest in her, she stings him with a spell, something she has never been able to do before. She feels comforted that she can now protect herself.

   In the summer the giantess puts a dome above the seed tube and the squirrel cannot find a way to get to the seed. Desperately hungry, the creature decides that Flory might be a suitable replacement for the seed. Thanks to her stinging spell, Flory is able to defend herself. She offers to help the squirrel get access to the seed. All she wants in return is for him to give her a ride on his back.

    Flory and uare not friends, but they do manage to get along. Though Skuggle does make it possible for Flory to visit different parts of the garden, traveling on his back is not pleasant at all. Flory misses her wings terribly and she starts to consider the other animals who visit the garden. There must be one of them who would be a more suitable steed for a little fairy.

   Flory decides that a hummingbird would be perfect. The little birds are pretty and fast and they are just the right size. Unfortunately they completely ignore Flory. They want nothing to do with her.

    In this delightful little book we get to know a very self-centered little fairy who has very little compassion and kindness in her little heart. She thinks that she can bully everyone into giving her what she wants, and for a while this strategy works. Then she discovers that sometimes you need to do things for others without expecting anything in return. She realizes that being able to make friends is very important.

   Throughout the book wonderful illustrations compliment the timeless story to give readers a reading experience that they will enjoy and remember.