A Fairy Tale by Tony Ross
|A Fairy Tale by Tony Ross|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: This isn't a picture book for your preschooler - it's a thought-provoking look at belief and friendship which will delight older tweens through to jaded adults.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: February 2012|
|Publisher: Andersen Press|
In Balaclava Street Bessie was bored. Even her book wasn't helping. It was about fairies and she didn't believe in them, obviously. And even if they did exist they'd have more sense than to live in the gloomy streets around the mill, wouldn't they? Playing with her ball in the back yard she encountered her next-door neighbour, Mrs Leaf and a strange friendship developed between the old woman and the young girl. It was difficult for Bessie to work out if Mrs Leaf actually believed in fairies, but it seemed strange that as Bessie got older, Mrs Leaf seemed to get younger. And who exactly was Mrs Leaf?
Firstly - a warning - if you're looking at this book and thinking that it might be a treat for your preschooler then forget it. It's a delicious, whimsical treat for the older pre-teen right through to the most jaded adult but it would pass right over the head of a toddler and leave a well of disappointment. It's deeply evocative and almost poetic in places - a yellowy light tickled the black clouds - and it's going to make you stop and think. I read it once and then went back an hour later and read it again, looking closely at the illustrations. And then I was left with a sense of having learned something.
The illustrations are beautiful - although the subject matter is frequently not. Bessie's home is a rather grimy mill town and our story begins in the nineteen twenties when these were working towns with rows of back-to-back houses. Pollution was part of the landscape. But somehow Tony Ross transcends this to give you a sense of the profound and something about which he feels deeply. Highly recommended.
Whether or not you believe in fairies there's definitely some magic here and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For more picture books which will be loved by adults we can recommend The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Fairy Tale by Tony Ross at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy A Fairy Tale by Tony Ross at Amazon.com.
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