cover image The Very Fairy Princess

The Very Fairy Princess

Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton, , illus. by Christine Davenier. . Little, Brown, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-04050-1

Geraldine, this book's redheaded heroine, may look like an ordinary girl, but she harbors no doubts about her magical royal status: “I FEEL it inside—a sparkling feeling of just KNOWING in my heart.” With great powers, however, come great responsibilities. A fairy princess must always wear her crown (“You never know who you might bump into... even on the stairs), shore up her mere mortal friends (“YOU sparkle when you play the trombone,” she tells one), and always be on the lookout for problems to solve, like an escaped classroom hamster. Andrews and Hamilton's narrative voice, a mixture of self-assured proclamations and parenthetical confidences, is fun, and for every reference to glitter, tutus, and sparkle, there are examples of the heroine's rough-and-tumble side (sliding down a banister or pursuing a frog across a stream). Davenier's (Just Like a Baby ) luminous and empathic watercolors act like fairy wings on this story. Even though the pictures are predominantly pink, there's nothing pale about Davenier's characterization; Geraldine radiates noblesse oblige, heedless energy, and a sense of destiny—she's Eloise crossed with Hillary Clinton. Ages 3–6. (May)