Hammack imbues this gentle story with minimal conflict, focusing instead on magical wonder, love of nature, a righteous king (Roland invents representational democracy!), and the emotional connections between family and friends. The cheerful tone and language are inspired by older bedtime storytelling traditions: “Nectar flowed in all the cups,” Hammock writes, of a celebration. “Every dish of food was devoured. Everyone agreed this was the most joyous festival yet.” Sprinkled throughout are stories about dwarves and giants, other visitors to the fairyland, and Iadore’s distant descendant, a young girl named Ilove, who speaks to the animals and can see fairies. Ilove learns about her ancestry and plays an important role in dispelling a magical enchantment.
With fairytale innocence, broad world building, and scant descriptions, the book allows readers to fill in the blanks with their own imagination. Love and understanding between different races and between children and parents provide a comforting message of compassion and empathy. This simple story of brave and sympathetic characters is suitable for readers of all ages.
Takeaway: A gentle fairytale in the classical mode, suitable for all ages and bursting with magic, fairies, and love.
Great for fans of: Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted, Juliet Mariller.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A-