cover image Sylva and the Fairy Ball

Sylva and the Fairy Ball

Margaret McNamara, illus. by Julia Denos. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $15.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-06-222801-7

This breezy novel opens the Fairy Bell Sisters chapter-book series, which introduces Tinker Bell’s younger siblings. An amiable narrator explains that while Tinker Bell lives in Never Land with Peter Pan, her five sisters live on Sheepskerry Island, “which I believe is not far from where you are right now.” The story focuses on Sylva Bell, who is distraught to learn that she’s too young (by a day) to attend the annual Fairy Ball. Perking up, the well-intentioned fairy decorates her sisters’ gowns—with disastrous results—but redeems herself on the night of the ball. The distinct personality of each sister (including baby Squeak, who has her own language) emerges through lively dialogue. McNamara (a pseudonym for agent Brenda Bowen) fills the pages with whimsical details of fairy life, and her knowing narration (“Let’s not speak of trolls now, while everything’s going so nicely”) gives the story its gentle warmth and humor. Big-hearted Rosy stars in Rosy and the Secret Friend, due simultaneously. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 7–9. Author’s agent: Faith Hamlin, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (May)