cover image ALICE THE FAIRY


David Shannon, . . Scholastic/Blue Sky, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-439-49025-2

Though one must attend Advanced Fairy School to become a "Permanent fairy," young Alice has earned her stripes as a "Temporary fairy," wielding a wand and a colorful imagination to brighten her days. Kids will instantly connect to Alice's matter-of-fact tone as she describes the perks and pitfalls of fairyhood. "I can't fly very high yet, but I can fly really fast!" or "I changed my dad into a horse." When she's not disappearing (with a flick of the light switch) or curtsying in the Magic Mirror ("Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairiest of them all?" she asks), Alice tries to stay on the good side of the wicked Duchess (Mom) and Duke of Morningside Drive and perfect her spell casting. Shannon again slips comfortably into the mindset of a child, opening a window on that special time of life when it's easy to believe in magic. The ink-and-watercolor artwork bears the sketchy, childlike style of No, David , giving the proceedings an appropriately breezy feel.

Alice—all pink dress, blonde curls and sparkly wings—is a sunny (and ever-so-slightly spunky) delight. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)