cover image A FAIRY IN A DAIRY


Lucy Nolan, , illus. by Laura J. Bryant. . Cavendish, $16.95 (30pp) ISBN 978-0-7614-5130-3

Buttermilk Hollow is a farming community with gallons of Norman Rockwell charm, but "For Sale" signs dot the family homesteads. Everyone believes it's just a matter of time before the town is bulldozed to make way for a toothpick factory—much to the delight of the seemingly evil Mayor Clabber, who stands to make a mint. "What this town needs is a fairy godmother," Farmer Blue tells his favorite dairy cow, Pixie. And from the next day forward, dairy- related magic descends on the town. A girl discovers a tub of frozen yogurt under her pillow, left by the tooth fairy (the sprite also leaves behind a trail of "fairy dust"—aka powdered milk), and "Eddie Ricotta even found a Muenster hiding under his bed," writes Nolan (The Lizard Man of Crabtree County ), in one of the sly puns that adds a tangy tartness to her text. Bryant (God Gave Us Two ) chronicles the town's enchantment and its subsequent revitalization in detailed, meticulously tinted watercolors; she pays tribute to the old-fashioned joys of rural life, and every picture bubbles with a spunky, homespun energy. The last pages may over-milk the narrative (not only is the town saved, but the fairy is captured and revealed—it's a tutu-clad Pixie—and the greedy Mayor turns out to be just a misunderstood Limburger lover) but the charms of this tale do not curdle. Even the lactose-intolerant should savor its imaginativeness. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)