Author(s): Doreen Cronin
From #1 "New York Times "bestselling author Doreen Cronin and Caldecott Medal winning illustrator David Small comes a picture book about how an extraordinary ordinary girl can save a kingdom with the help of a mud fairy. A glass kingdom is no place for a Mud Fairy. Bloom and her mud fairy magic might be able to turn weeds into flowers and spin sand into glass, but the people of the kingdom ceaselessly complain about the trails of dirt and puddles of mud that seem to follow her every step, and finally they cast her out. But when the glass castle begins to crack, then cracks some more, the King and Queen in a panic search for the long-banished fairy, but they can t find Bloom anywhere. Desperate to save their home, they send their meekest, most ordinary subject, a girl named Genevievewhose sole task until now has been to polish the Queen s crystal sugar spoon to coax "any "worthy fairy to come and save the kingdom. Genevieve finds Bloom exactly where the king and queen failed to see her, and Bloom knows exactly how to save the kingdom. But it will take the two girls working together, along with a mighty dollop of self-confidence and some very messy hands to accomplish the extraordinary."
Theglass fairy kingdom where Bloom lives is beautiful, but its residents are dis-missive of her messy, muddy approach to magic, so Bloom takes her untidy ways(and her magic) elsewhere. After Bloom leaves, though, things fall apart--quiteliterally--until the kingdom is "held together by duct tape, glue, andpeasants." The king and queen seek out Bloom for help, only to be perplexed andinsulted when she presents them with a bucket of mud. They then send meekGenevieve, a maid and "ordinary girl," to do the job. The girl soon catches onto Bloom's proposed solution--using the mud to make bricks with which to rebuildthe kingdom--and, after some instruction, practice, and reassurance by Bloom, the not-so-ordinary Genevieve returns to fix the kingdom: "She knocked on thepalace door and shat- tered it to pieces 'I am here!' she shouted." This is anenjoyable original fairy tale, and young listeners will relish the youngheroine's triumph over her royal elders. Genevieve's literal shattering of theglass ceiling (okay, a door) tips slightly toward didacticism, but it's ametaphor worth discussing, and while the ending is abrupt, it is also joyful.Small's detailed ink and watercolor art balances the tidy restraint of thekingdom with the casual sprawl of the sprightly Bloom and the natural world.The evolving appearance of the auburn-haired Genevieve (she grows muddier andless demure in proportion to her increasing skill and confidence) alsoeffectively reflects her growing empowerment. Enjoy this as it stands or use itas a complement to Munsch's The Paper Bag Princess.--BCCB "April 2016 "