Blueberry Girl

Neil Gaiman, Author, Charles Vess, Illustrator , illus. by Charles Vess. HarperCollins $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-083808-9

In a magical blessing for unconventional girls, Gaiman (The Graveyard Book ) addresses the “ladies of light and ladies of darkness and ladies of never-you-mind,” asking them to shelter and guide an infant girl as she grows. “Help her to help herself,/ help her to stand,/ help her to lose and to find./ Teach her we're only as big as our dreams./ Show her that fortune is blind.” Sinuous, rococo lines—the flowing hair, drooping boughs, winding paths that inspired the pre-Raphaelites—spread their tendrils throughout Vess's (The Ladies of Grace Adieu ) full-bleed spreads, potent mixtures of the charms of Arthur Rackham, Maxfield Parrish and Cecily Barker's flower fairies. An Art Nouveau–ish font in a blueberry color compounds the sense of fantasy. On each page a different girl—short, tall, white, brown, younger, older—runs or jumps or swims, accompanied by animals meant to guard and protect her. Fans of Gaiman and Vess will pounce on this creation; so too will readers who seek for their daughters affirmation that sidesteps traditional spiritual conventions. All ages. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/15/2008
Release date: 03/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Sewn - 32 pages - 978-0-606-15398-0
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-06-083810-2
Paperback - 28 pages - 978-0-7475-9598-4
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-06-083809-6
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