Monday, June 09, 2008

Diary of a Fairy Godmother by Esme Raji Codell

In sticking with Allison's current theme of reading youth novels, I picked up Diary of a Fairy Godmother off my shelf. I was in the mood for something light, fun and easy to read after America America. I bought Diary of a Fairy Godmother a while back during Barnes and Noble's Bargain sale. It looked like a fun book my daughters might like someday. I read it extremely quickly and enjoyed it very much.

It's the story of Hunky Dory who according to her mother will be "the wickedest witch wherever the four winds blow". But Hunky Dory discovers she might be more inclined toward wishcraft than witchcraft. Once this is known, she is ostracized by her family and friends and cast out on her own. She comes up with a very successful idea to make a living granting wishes; the wishing well. She finds that she is very satisfied with granting others' wishes and becomes a bona fide Fairy Godmother. In the end her old family and friends accept her for who she is and everyone appears to live happily ever after.

This is a very cute story with retellings of Sleeping Beauty (Aurora), Rumpelstiltskin, and Cinderella, and also mentions Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, among others. It's fun to see how the author puts these fairy tales into Hunky Dory's world. This is listed as a book for ages 9-12. I'd say that's right for actual reading level, but I think kids as young as 6 or 7 could enjoy having this book read to them. There are some larger vocabulary words that are defined in the same sentence or the next one. Younger readers might find the actual reading of it a bit difficult, but they would probably know the fairy tales well and think it was fun to listen to the story. There are entertaining illustrations throughout the book as well.


Maw Books said...

I'm trying to read 52 MG and 52 YA books this year. This one sounds like a perfect one to add to my list. I've only recently started reading fairy tale type stories and have really enjoyed them.

allisonmariecat said...

Ooh, fun! This sounds like just my thing. Gail Carson Levine does nice fairy tale retellings, too, in case you're looking for similar reading. I also just picked up the first in a series called The Sisters Grimm, about girls who end up solving a mystery in a fairy tale refuge.

Holly said...

Natasha--This will definitely be an easy and fun one for your challenge. You'd be closer to your goal in no time!

Allison-- I have the Grimm Sisters books on Ella's future reading list. :-) And of course I want Ella to read Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. I know Levine has a few others as well. I think Dairy of a Fairy Godmother is right up your alley!

am~ said...

My daughter (6yrs) and I just listened to this book on CD. We both really enjoyed it and it was great for her to guess who Hunky was trying to help from the fairy tales we have read before the person was revealed. An excellent book for those who like a fairy tale with a twist.