cover image Plum: How the Sugar Plum Fairy Got Her Wings

Plum: How the Sugar Plum Fairy Got Her Wings

Sean Hayes and Scott Icenogle, illus. by Robin Thompson. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-5344-0404-5

With a nod to E.T.A. Hoffman’s chestnut The Nutcracker, married debut authors Hayes and Icenogle spin a sweet origin story about one of Hoffman’s favorite characters. When young Plum, the tiniest, loneliest—and perhaps most picked-on—resident of Mary Fitzgerald Orphanage tries to salvage a happy holiday for her fellow orphans, she receives some magical Christmas Eve help from “mysterious magician” Mr. Drosselmeyer. After gobbling up Drosselmeyer’s gift of a petit four–size Nuzzlecake, Plum is transported to the Land of Sweets, where she’s just in time to save the place from a sour note. Her act of selfless kindness toward a dejected King Christopher unspools a jolly denouement that includes an adoption—and a sprouting of wings. Thompson’s palette is as plum-toned as the story demands, and she nimbly contrasts shadowy forlorn scenes with brighter, joyful ones in mixed-media illustrations that display the sheen of animation. Ages 4–8. [em]Agent: Andy McNichol, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. (Oct.) [/em]