Palatini, Margie. 2009. Gone With The Wand. Illustrated by Brian Ajhar. Scholastic.
The Fairy Godmother--Bernice Sparklestein--has lost her touch. Her magic is 'gone with the wand.' She doesn't "even have enough bippidy left in her to salacadoo one more pumpkin." What's left for an old fairy godmother past her prime? Read and see in Gone With The Wand, a picture book about friendship and finding your place in the world. This book stars a second-class tooth fairy, Edith B. Cuspid, and a past-her-prime-very-famous fairy godmother, Bernice. Edith wants to help her friend find a new job. Something that will make her friend happy again. Something that will put the sparkle back in Sparklestein. Can these two puzzle it out together?
"Once upon a time. Long, long ago...(to be exact and completely factual, this little fairy's tale began three months ago last Thursday.)"What to expect from this one? Puns upon puns. It's a playful--though wordy--text. Example: Edith describes her closet and trunks as having, "old uniforms and folderol." The illustrations are detail-oriented. They definitely add several layers to the book. In fact, every time I read the book, I noticed something new in the illustrations. Things that I'd missed the first and second time around.
Did I like it? Yes and no. It was a fun story. The details from the illustrations really add depth to the story. I loved finding all the story-book references. And the text grew on me as well. I appreciated it more the second or third time around than I did the first. But part of me feels it is a bit too wordy, too text-heavy. Can it hold short attention spans? Which age child is this 'right' for? I think younger kids--under five--might lose interest because there is just so much going on and too many words per page. I think for older kids--school age kids--five and up--it could have potential. Of course, every child is different. Some kids have short attention spans at any age. And some kids--book-lovers from the start--will be still and patient and cooperative. I think a love of fairy tales could help a lot in maintaining interest.
© Becky Laney of Young Readers