Monday, September 07, 2009

Fall Fantasy: Little Red's Autumn Adventure by Sarah Ferguson

Coming off of her best-selling Tea for Ruby (Paula Wiseman Books) (see review post here), Duchess Sarah Ferguson returns to her Little Red series in a brand-new seasonal adventure.

Little Red and her friend Little Blue, her dog Gino, and pony Roany set off from Buttercup Cottage on a bright fall day for the local harvest festival, Little Red as always packing along her magical Sack of Smiles. Cheerily leaf-boarding down the hillsides along the way, the group stops abruptly when Little Red discovers a couple of little lost mice, separated from Mrs. Mouse and their seven other siblings on the way to the celebration and terrified by the appearance of a large red-haired human peering down at them.

"Don't worry," said Little Red in her sweetest kind of voice. "I'll help you."

"But you're so BIG," peeped one tiny mouse. "And SCARY!" whispered the other.

So Little Red reached into her Sack of Smiles, grabbed a handful of magic dust, sprinkled it over her head, and ... ZIPPITY DOO DAH!... she shrunk right down to the size of the tiny mice. "That's better!" she said. "Now tell me what's the matter."

But then Red realizes that she's made the same mistake as Alice (in Wonderland); she's left her magic sack behind, hanging from a tree limb, and now she's too tiny to reach it to turn herself back to her own size so that she can carry the lost mice to meet their mother. "Oh, snagaroo!" she grumbles.

But, of course, size screw-ups are no problem for the resourceful Little Red, and with the help of her friends and a bit of quick thinking, the group is soon on its way to the harvest festival and a mouse family reunion in jig time. Ferguson's jolly new tale, Little Red's Autumn Adventure, (Simon & Schuster, 2009) told with her usual English flavor, is a light and bouncy bit of fall fantasy. Sam Williams' charming endpapers and illustrations, done up with an autumn palette and set off against bright white backgrounds, carry the load in giving this little story its seasonal appeal.

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