My favorite this month so far has been the children's book The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente.
One morning in Omaha Nebraska, the Green Wind carries off 12-year-old September on the Leopard of Little Breezes, and deposits her safely (minus one shoe) at the entrance to Fairyland - or rather at the customs bureau the guards the entrance to Fairyland.
So begins a fairytale that's beautiful, wild and strange. Like many great stories, it can be read on more than one level and there's plenty of wisdom and reflection in Valente's world for adults as well as children. September is a brave and capable heroine with a strong heart and a lot to learn. On her journey she meets all sorts of quirky characters- like a dryad who runs a movie projector and tells her "Just because a thing is transparent and silvery and comes in big reels, doesn't mean it's not a tree." And she makes some very important friends who teach her what it's like to have a heart and to lose one.
This is a coming age story, a story about coming into one's own power with both the joy and the tragedy that brings. A wise and wacky tale, moving and imaginative. In the vein of the Wizard of Oz series or Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching books.
posted 7 months ago. ( permalink )