The Christmas Fairy

illus. by Rosalind Beardshaw. 32p. Nosy Crow. Sept. 2017. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763696290.
PreS-Gr 1—Little Clara is learning to be a "proper Christmas fairy." She and her three smiling, round-headed classmates are all young girls with wings. Miss Petal, a grown woman who also has wings, instructs them to "stand like statues" while holding "a fairy pose" and maintaining silence. Since the rhyming tale begins by telling readers that Clara is a lively chatterbox, it is no surprise when she doesn't live up to expectations. Just as she loses confidence, Santa asks her to save the Christmas show after the performers have all taken ill or had mishaps. With no preparation, she saves the show because she is so naturally special. Santa then explains that "not every Christmas fairy has to stand still on a tree." Nevertheless, the story ends with Clara posing at the top of a tree with her presumably more suited-to-the-task classmates in the lower branches. The illustrations are bright and charming, the rhyme works well, and the layout is attractive and readable, yet the premise is troubling. Why do these young fairies aspire to be living ornaments? The conflict is of little consequence and the resolution far too convenient (and pointless).
VERDICT A lovely piece of holiday fluff for those who desire effortless cuteness.

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