cover image Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg

Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg

Gail Carson Levine, , illus. by David Christiana. . Disney, $18.99 (189pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-3491-4

Tinker Bell, the feisty fairy made famous in J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan as well as Disney's animated movie of that book, goes into freefall here, recast as a star of this flighty and confusing fantasy. Levine (Ella Enchanted ) introduces readers to "Tink's" world, Never Land—a magical island that can shift size and location, and where humans (called "Clumsies"), animals and fairies never grow old. The perpetual state of spring and summer is sustained by Mother Dove sitting on her magic egg. A new fairy named Prilla arrives on the eve of Mother Dove's Molt—her feathers provide flight-making fairy dust. But when tragedy strikes Mother Dove and the egg, Prilla and two other fairies are chosen to go on a perilous quest (involving Captain Hook) in order to save the ailing bird. Unfortunately, the detailed descriptions of Never Land life are overly precious (e.g., "a midge on a fairy was as big as a bee on a Clumsy") and the characters' qualities come off as cloying. Tink remains fundamentally petulant but does relate to Mother Dove her unrequited love for Peter, a point likely to be lost on readers who would migrate to this book's fairy themes. The conversational narrative frequently addresses readers directly, a convention that becomes tiresome ("Remember the worst pain you've ever felt. Close your eyes and think of it"). Though Levine takes Tink on new adventures, she probably won't win the fairy many new fans. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)