Irinel F edited the summary of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making Monday, July 4, 2011.
When the Green Wind offers to whisk young September from her dull home in Nebraska off to Fairyland, she jumps at the chance and onto his flying leopard. Once in Fairyland (a self-aware mashup of surreal otherworlds from Wonderland to Oz to Neverland), she makes fast friends with a wyverary (the offspring of a dragon and a library); runs afoul of the wicked little girl Marquess, who rules the land with tyrannical poutiness; and traipses about in a loosely plotted series of merry, harrowing, and just plain weird adventures. September herself is a standard-issue fairy-tale fish out of water, ever flummoxed and begging pardon but given to sharp outbursts of pluck in pluckworthy situations. The setting, however, fairly bursts at the seams with darkness, wonder, and oodles of imaginative quirks, while Valente's busy and at times intrusive narration is thick, thorny, and stylistically vigorous. Chapters are headed by Juan's dreamy, stubby-figured drawings and a wry look forward (In Which September Enters the Worsted Wood, Loses All Her Hair, Meets Her Death, and Sings It to Sleep). The rich, dense vocabulary presents some tricky footing, but for readers like September, wh. read often and liked it best when words did not pretend to be simple but put on their full armor and rode out with colors flying. this book is quite simply a gold mine.--Chipman, Ia. Copyright 2010 Booklist