Bloom by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by David Small

Published by Atheneum 

Summary:  “Once upon a time, in a beautiful glass kingdom, there lived an unusual fairy named Bloom.”  Bloom uses her magic to help keep the kingdom beautiful, but she’s muddy and heavy-handed (and footed), and eventually, through mutual agreement, the kingdom and fairy part ways.  Many years later, the glass all over the kingdom is breaking, and no one can fix it.  It’s decided that a messenger should go into the forest and convince Bloom to return.  The king tries and fails, the queen tries and fails; the last hope is an ordinary girl named Genevieve.  Unlike the king and queen, Genevieve isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, and Bloom teachers her how to use the mud to make bricks and build things.  Delighted, Genevieve returns, teaches others her new-found skills, and saves the kingdom. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  Award-winning author-illustrator team Cronin and Small contribute to make a magical tale that extols the virtues of hard work and girl power.

Cons:  “[T]here is no such thing as an ordinary girl,” said Bloom.  Just in case you missed the message of the story the first two or three times.

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