Bethany the Ballet Fairy by Daisy Meadows
|Bethany the Ballet Fairy by Daisy Meadows|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Magda Healey|
|Summary: Number 50 in the committee-written fairy series for young girls & the first from the 'dance fairies' sub-series, this is not any better or worse than the previous 49. Harmless entertainment and a possible spur to get better for some new readers, but nothing particularly worth seeking out, unless your girl collects them. Only buy if you have to.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 80||Date: September 2007|
|Publisher: Orchard Books|
I was not at all surprised that Daisy Meadows was a pen name consortium of writers. The Rainbow Magic series is produced on an industrial scale indeed and is made according to what seems like a recipe for a perfect, widely appealing commercial entertainment venture for young girls.
The whole enterprise appeals to the mania for collecting sets: each sub-series has 7 books, and each book has one fairy, and each fairy has a set of attributes (of which the outfit is the most important). My daughter delights in identifying them in the pictures and on covers and counting the ones we have had and the ones yet to get. The adventure is gentle, and each book as well as each sub-series ends with a resolution. The whole series though is seemingly interminable, as long as the authors can think of another set of domains for another set of seven fairies.
I was at loss to think of what the Rainbow Magic series reminds me most of and then realised that it's like a vast computer game (but without increasing difficulty), with each book a room or a level. It all fits very well with the world inhabited by the likes of Disney Princesses and Barbie's Fairytopia and Mermaidia; all things glittery, fluttery and pretty. There is magic which gets to our world from the Fairyland, there is plenty of gentle adventure and happy endings.
Bethany: the Ballet Fairy starts a new sub-series (Dance Fairies) and isn't it just wonderful how the authors manage to find another girlie domain that can be divided into 7 chunks for 7 fairies? Jack frost and his goblins are at large again, and Rachel and Kirsty will have to help the little winged cuties to restore order. The artefacts that have to be found are ribbons, and the fairies that need our girls' help are Dance Fairies. With their ribbons in the goblin's slimy hands, the dances and shows all over the human world are being disturbed!
The human characters are girls just a little bit older and thus bit more capable and independent but similar to the target market, the baddies are just a little bit scary but not too much - nothing to give nightmares: magically grown goblins are still smaller then the girls. All the positive characters are female and all the baddies are male and often quite laughable which matches the developmental stage to which the books appeal.
As the previous 49, Bethany is a pure bubble-gum fiction, perfectly pitched, completely anodyne and inoffensive and considering the amount of decent reading material, even for this age group, has nothing in particular to recommend it. However, if you have a fairy-loving daughter who is just starting and/or struggling to read, these books will provide as good as any material for so called 'supported reading'. The print is large, the chapters short and, although there are quite a few harder & longer words, they are infrequent enough for my 6 year old to be able to read about 70% of the text herself. I would not recommend buying it for pre-readers (unless you are terrorised into it) as reading the books aloud is a bit of an ordeal, and there is no reason to subject yourself to it.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending this book to The Bookbag.
If you have a daughter who enjoys this type of book then she might also enjoy The Magic Begins by Tabitha Black.
You can read more book reviews or buy Bethany the Ballet Fairy by Daisy Meadows at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Bethany the Ballet Fairy by Daisy Meadows at Amazon.com.
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