Tanya Robyn Batt, Retold by, Nicoletta Ceccoli, Illustrator, Tanya Robyn Batt, Author , illus. by Nicoletta Ceccoli. Barefoot $16.99 (29p) ISBN 978-1-84148-998-8

A familiar folktale gets a fantastical makeover from Batt (A Child's Book of Faeries) and Ceccoli (An Island in the Sun). After saving a woodland fairy from almost certain death, a woodcutter is given one wish. "It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen," writes Batt, while Ceccoli portrays the wish as a glowing spark of white light. "It seemed to dart and dance and sent a warm shiver through his body." The contented feeling ends, though, when each member of his family lobbies for a different heart's desire (his wife yearns for a child, his mother to regain her sight and his father for gold). Finally, he cleverly words a wish that satisfies everyone. Ceccoli intensifies the magical flavor of the swift and atmospheric storytelling in her softly shaded acrylics and oil pastels. Full-page illustrations enchant with their curious perspectives and peach and emerald-turquoise hues. In one uniquely angled and pleasing picture, readers look up, as if from a fairy's vantage point from the forest floor, past the woodcutter and his swinging ax and into the trees' leafy crowns, which bow overhead to frame the scene. In the next, readers take a hawk's eye-view as it circles over the faerie, who seeks cover under a log. Small, rectangular spot illustrations dress up the text pages, providing close-ups from facing pictures or windows into the woodcutter's imagination. A picturesque passage through a traditional tale. Ages 3-8. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/23/2002
Release date: 02/01/2003
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 978-1-905236-73-2
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-78285-145-5
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