Philippa Fisher and the Dream Maker's Daughter by Liz Kessler
|Philippa Fisher and the Dream Maker's Daughter by Liz Kessler|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Sweet and sympathetic story about friendship and grief. Easy to read and kindly in nature, it will appeal to all fairy-loving girls of late primary and early secondary age. Liz Kessler popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 240||Date: February 2010|
|External links: Author's website|
Since her fairy godsister Daisy went back to ATC - fairy high command - and moved on to other missions, Philippa Fisher has felt rather lonely. Her parents are as oddball as ever, wandering through life with the kind of benign muddleheadedness that makes them loveable, but more than a tad inattentive. They haven't really picked up on the fact that Philippa's human best friend has moved away and lost touch, or that she hasn't yet found a group of friends at secondary school. She misses Daisy like mad.
And then they head off on a week away in the country, and Philippa meets Robyn. The two girls feel an instant connection, but it's obvious that Robyn has a secret that's making her very unhappy. Adding to her worries about Robyn, Philippa's having some dreadful dreams, full of pain and longing and grief. There's only one person she can think of who could help, and that's Daisy. True to form, Daisy appears. But then she goes missing and it's clear her life is in danger.
Who has taken Daisy? Will Philippa find her before it's too late? And what do the nightmares mean?
Underlying this fantasy world, where dreams are delivered by fairies disguised as butterflies, is a tremendously sympathetic kitchen sink drama about loneliness, friendship, grief, and family dynamics. Philippa is lonely and in need of a human friend - as much as she loves Daisy, she needs to make her way in the real world. Her parents are kind and loving, but they're not always observant and they miss the cues that Philippa gives out. Sometimes, she feels as though she is the parent and they are the children. Robyn and her father are in crisis following the death of Robyn's mother and her father's overprotectiveness is hampering Robyn's grieving process. If she doesn't grieve, she'll never move on.
It's a sweet and kindly tale, told in an accessible way and with great sympathy, and it will appeal hugely to all fairy-loving girls of late primary and early secondary age. In some ways, the blend of fantasy narrative and realistic themes do result in a bit of a compromise - there's no real baddie for the human-fairy combo to vanquish, which does take away any real sense of crisis, yet at the same time there won't be any fairies rescuing any lonely children who read the book. But it doesn't really matter. Dreams, good and bad, are our safety valves. Lonely people do find friends. Grief does diminish over time. And every little girl loves a fairy!
My thanks to the nice people at Orion for sending the book.
If they like the look of Philippa Fisher and the Dream Maker's Daughter, they might also enjoy How Kirsty Jenkins Stole the Elephant by Elen Caldecott, which doesn't have any fairies, but does deal with grief in a similarly sympathetic way. I think they could also look at Everything I Know About You by Belinda Hollyer and Angel Cake by Cathy Cassidy.
You can read more book reviews or buy Philippa Fisher and the Dream Maker's Daughter by Liz Kessler at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Philippa Fisher and the Dream Maker's Daughter by Liz Kessler at Amazon.com.
Liz Kessler was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.