Saturday, February 02, 2013

Heart-y Tale: The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart by Julie Andrews

"Hi! It's me, Gerry, the very fairy princess.

Not everyone believes that I’m a fairy princess, but the sparkle I feel inside tells me that it’s true!

One of my favorite days is coming up–-Valentine’s Day!”

And Gerry is ready for the challenge. She gets out her trusty art supplies–-card stock, stickers, and, of course, glitter--and starts turning out handmade Valentine’s cards for her family and especially for everyone in her class at school–even, with some reluctance, one for Connor, who teases and pulls her hair. Gerry carefully crafts each one to show just what is special to her about each person. Mom and Dad are proud of her output, and Mom even fetches one of Daddy’s work folders from his home office for Gerry to keep her Valentines together for the big day.

Valentine’s Day begins with Dad’s special heart-shaped pancakes (with extra fairy dust,) and Gerry’s presentation of her Valentines to her family. Then she dashes upstairs to get gussied up in tiara, heart-shaped accessories, and her wings. Time is running out, so Gerry runs out of the house, grabbing her folder of Valentines on the way and running for the bus.

Miss Pym has transformed the classroom into a pink and red fantasy and passes out heart-shaped bags with everyone’s name for the students to collect their Valentines. At last it’s time to exchange their cards, and Gerry opens her folder. She can barely contain her sparkle.

But–-what’s this?

"These aren’t my Valentines! These are Dad’s work papers.

This day is going to be the most un-sparkly day in Valentine’s history!"

Gerry holds back her tears. She’s worked for weeks making those personalized Valentines! But, after all, a fairy princess must maintain her composure at all times. And a VERY fairy princess comes through in a pinch. With Miss Pym’s cheerful permission, Gerry asks her classmates to make a circle and verbally delivers to each one her Valentine’s message. Connor is especially pleased with his:

”You sparkle when you... RESCUE BUGS!”

Julie Andrews and co-author daughter Emma Hamilton’s timely latest, The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart (Little, Brown, 2013) comes through with all the sparkle of their previous best-selling books in this series, with the help of illustrator Christine Davenier’s light-as-a-fairy’s -wing pink-hued fantasies.  Gerry’s sparkle comes from inside, and she again shows that a real princess can rise to the occasion and disport herself with grace and plenty of heart.

Pair this one with Herman Parish’s similarly themed Amelia Bedelia's First Valentine (see my review here) for a  duo of hearty and heartfelt (as well as inspired and improvised) Valentine’s Day gifts.

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