Title: The Night Fairy
Author: Laura Amy Schlitz
Illustrator: Angela Barrett
May Contain Spoilers
What would happen to a fairy if she lost her wings and could no longer fly? Flory, a young night fairy no taller than an acorn and still becoming accustomed to her wings — wings as beautiful as those of a luna moth — is about to find out. What she discovers is that the world is very big and very dangerous. But Flory is fierce and willing to do whatever it takes to survive. If that means telling others what to do — like Skuggle, a squirrel ruled by his stomach — so be it. Not every creature, however, is as willing to bend to Flory’s demands. Newbery Medal winner Laura Amy Schlitz and world-renowned illustrator and miniaturist Angela Barrett venture into the realm of the illustrated classic — a classic entirely and exquisitely of their making, and a magnificent adventure.
The Night Fairy was a random find at the library. It was on the new arrivals shelf, and a quick glance through it interested me enough to check it out. I’m glad I did. This was an enchanting tale with magic and a surprising amount of character development for such a short book.
Flory is a young night fairy, and one evening, she has a disastrous encounter with a bat. The bat mistakes her for a moth, and bites her wings off. Injured and alone, Flory hides in a garden, determined to become a day fairy so she won’t ever have to deal with a bat again. Transiting to her new life isn’t easy, and Flory finds that there are dangers even during the day.
Flory is a little tyrant at the beginning of the book. Her unfortunate run-in with the bat doesn’t do much to improve her personality, either. Since she has been isolated from other fairies, she never had the opportunity to learn any manners, and it shows! She bullies a squirrel into being her servant, and she expects all of the animals in the garden to do her bidding or she’ll sting them with her magic. She is not a nice fairy at all, and I didn’t like her much at the beginning of the story.
As she encounters other creatures in her new neighborhood, she is forced to take a long, hard look at herself and how she behaves. Making an enemy of everyone is not a good idea! She learns this the hard way, but as she re-examines her behavior, she begins to understand that being nice has some advantages. She even learns the benefits of forgiveness. I loved how Flory was able to move beyond her fear and learn to trust again.
The Night Fairy was a solid, engrossing read. Angela Barrett’s colorful illustrations gave the story added depth and brought Flory’s world to life. This was a lucky find at the library!
Review copy obtained from my local library