cover image The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies

The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies

Ammi-Joan Paquette, , illus. by Christa Unzner. . Tanglewood, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-933718-20-0

The lure of fairies never fades, and the idea that they lurk nearby, waiting to be found, is still exciting to children. And Unzner's (Princess Me ) use of photographs (some of which feature fairy-seeking kids) as backdrops for her delicate fairies drives that notion home. Her creations are more cute than beautiful—they have button noses and frizzy hair, and appear fairly rambunctious, even as they evade the children looking for them. Debut author Paquette combines guidebook narrative (“We can see where they live if we know how to look for them”) with warmer passages that include readers in the search (“Did you feel that tingle? I think something magical is about to happen”). Text and art work in tandem to create gentle suspense—scenes, such as one in which fairies retrieve a lost slipper just behind the retreating shoes of the searching children, will prompt giggles, and the promise of a fairy encounter is sweetly fulfilled at the end. Though Unzner's sketchy hand-drawn fairies ultimately feel superimposed on, rather than part of, the photographic landscapes, readers should still be enticed by the idea of magic infusing the natural world. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)