The Night Fairy

The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Angela Barrett

Newbery winner Schlitz returns with a celebration of fairies that will have any child entranced.  Flory, a night fairy, was only the size of an acorn when she was out flying and was crunched on by a bat who mistook her for a luna moth.  After her wings were crushed, she fell down into a cherry tree in a giant’s garden.  There she found a birdhouse just the right size for a fairy’s home.  Because she couldn’t move around easily on her own without wings, Flory befriended a very hungry squirrel who let her ride him in exchange for food.  But Flory wanted a grander animal to ride and when she saw the hummingbirds she knew just what she wanted.  But the hummingbirds were aloof and distant, too busy to talk with her about her needs.  It wasn’t until one bird was trapped in a spider web in the garden that Flory could bargain with her.  That bargain would take her on an even greater adventure that teaches Flory what friendship and being a fairy is really about.

Schlitz’s writing is laced with magic.  This deceptively slim volume holds so much story that it could have been much longer.  Instead, Schlitz has written a tightly woven story gilded with wonderful language.  The language invites readers deeply into the story, lets them know that something special has been written here, and then sails them off on adventure. 

I greatly appreciate that Flory is a fairy with plenty of chutzpah and guts.  She is prickly, brave and wonderfully independent.  At the same time, she dresses in flower petals, is a tiny size, and is undeniably feminine.  Bravo for a heroine who wields a dagger while dressed in petals!

Highly recommended, this book should be handed to any youngster who enjoys a good fairy tale.  This book has plenty of action and adventure married with magic and beauty.  Appropriate for ages 8-11.

Reviewed from Advanced Reader Copy received from Candlewick Press.

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