Funderstudy: The Very Fairy Princess Sparkles in the Snow by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton
I HAVE SOMETHING INSIDE, SOMETHING SPARKLY THAT IS HARD TO EXPLAIN.
LIKE ALL FAIRY PRINCESSES, I SPEND A LOT OF TIME CARING FOR MY SUBJECTS AND MAKING THEM FEEL HAPPY.
FAIRY PRINCESSES TRY TO SPREAD JOY AND WONDER WHENEVER AND WHEREVER THEY CAN!
It's a hard job, but somebody has to do it, and Jerry is on the job. When she learns that her chorus is performing in the annual school Winter Wonderland Festival, she's sure that they need her to be their soloist.
Jerry goes into instant audition mode. At rehearsals she steps out just a little in front of her row, singing very loudly, showing that she has the most enthusiasm for the number. A bit grumpily, her teacher reminds her that all the voices in a chorus are supposed to blend into one. On her way to lunch, she stops to pretend to tie her shoe which singing right in front of his office. At recess she belts out the melody under his window.
Poor Mr. Higginbotham, ambushed at every turn by Gerry's obvious hints that she's available! But it's all for naught, as Mr. Higginbotham soon announces that a professional singer has been engaged to sing the solo with the chorus. Gerry is terribly disappointed, and when a big snow covers the roads, she's almost glad. Ever the optimist, Gerry warms up before she leaves. After all, a very fairy princess is always well prepared!"
And as if her unspoken wish is magically granted, when they arrive at the school for the performance, Mr. Higginbotham announces that the soloist is stuck somewhere in the snow. But the show must go on, and her teacher turns to Gerry. Can she step in to sing the solo part?
Fairy princesses are ever plucky, with a platitude for every turn of fortune, and Gerry's got one for this occasion as well:
FAIRY PRINCESSES ARE ALWAYS HAPPY TO LEND A HAND IN A CRISIS!
But when Gerry heads to the art room to get ready for her big chance, she finds she has a wardrobe malfunction. She's left her dress-up shoes at home! Snow boots are not at all appropriate for this occasion. Looking around the room, however, Gerry spots some paints and several brushes soaking in a jar, and has an idea born of desperation. She paints her socks, one with a hole in the toe, a lovely shade of lavender, adding purple ballet shoes to her feet, and to the giggles of the other singers, leaves a disconcerting trail of purple footprints across the stage. Gerry steps in front of the other singers and looks out over the festively decorated auditorium, hoping that the paint still covers her big toe. Suddenly, her sparkle sinks. Can she really do this? she wonders, as the orchestra begins the introduction.
But not even a snow storm can dim a very fairy princess's sparkle for long, and in the best show business tradition, Gerry doesn't miss a note and even manages to have fun, in Julie Andrews' and Emma Hamilton's latest in this series, The Very Fairy Princess Sparkles in the Snow (Little, Brown, 2013). Done up with sparkly snowflake cover and Christine Davenier's bright ink and pastel pencil palette, this latest in the series makes use of some well-used story elements in a story that nevertheless celebrates the power of preparation and good old-fashioned pluck. Kirkus Reviews even gives this title a starred review (for show-biz *sparkle*, no doubt), saying "Kids are sure to applaud this encore performance."
For the rest of the picture books in this popular series, see my reviews here.