cover image Fairy Wings

Fairy Wings

Lauren Mills, Dennis Nolan. Little Brown and Company, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-57397-9

Mills (Elfabet) and Nolan (Dinosaur Dream) pack everything but the glass slippers into this dainty sylvan romance starring a wingless fairy. Fia endures the disdain of her arrogant sisters and their high-brow society, ``flying'' inelegantly about the woodland on the wings of Crow and playing with Rat and Frog. But when the dreaded slobbering troll crashes the May Dance (from which Fia has been bounced) and snares the flying folk, Fia and her outcast friends come to the rescue. Fia's heroism occurs within the familiar plot of an incognito prince who admires the ragamuffin fairy's independence and self-respect, and the tale, not surprisingly, ends with a wedding. Mills embroiders the text with a raft of fairy paraphernalia likely to captivate the dollhouse set: Fia fashions a tiny boat from the discarded eggshell of a goose and uses a holly leaf as her oar; Fia's mother weaves a dress from ``the finest milkweed down''; etc. The watercolor illustrations, a sort of sugary step-child of Arthur Rackham's work, push the book toward greeting-card charm. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)