This was first posted in December 2011 on my old blog.

Title:  The Very Fairy Princess Takes the Stage

Author:  Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton (mother/daughter writing team)

Illustrator:  Christine Davenier

Publisher:  New York: Little, Brown & Co., 2011

Genre:  Picture Book, fiction

Audience Age:  3-9 (and others)

Theme:  Dealing with someone else getting the starring role in the ballet class recital.

Opening Sentences:  Hi! I’m Geraldine. I’m a fairy princess. I know that I’m a fairy princess because I FEEL it inside – a sparkly feeling of just KNOWING in my heart.  … … … But I REALLY let my sparkle out when I sing and dance! (Fairy princesses have a LOT of flair.)

Synopsis:  This is the second in the series. Geraldine is a confident little girl who believes she is a fairy princess, despite her droopy socks and scabby knees. The underlying theme of all the Very Fairy Princess books is to let one’s inner sparkle out no matter what. In this book, Geraldine is sure she will be cast as the Crystal Princess in her ballet class’s recital, but instead, she has to be the Court Jester. Her inner sparkle dims noticeably, but eventually her sparkle triumphs and she learns that not only can she make the best of a bad situation, but she can make a real difference when she sets aside her hurt feelings.

Activities/Resources:  There are some fun activities for your own Very Fairy Princess at Julie & Emma’s page with the Hachette Book Group.   From my own thoughts, going beyond the glitter and pinkness of the princess theme, the point of the book is learning to let one’s inner sparkle out. It’s truly an alternate view of fairy princesses. So getting kids to come up with ways they can let their inner sparkle out, drawing pictures of themselves doing this, and even practicing “Random Acts of SPARKLE” where they think up ways to help people and then do them just for the joy of sparkling, are great ways to bring the true meaning of the book to life. Kids could even act out the book, or make up their own play to show how to let their sparkle out.

Availability:  Readily available at local bookstores, on amazon or similar sites.

This book is part of the Julie Andrews Collection, a collection of children’s books that encourage the child to exercise his or her imagination and to find joy in reading (and in life).

# 3 in Perfect Picture Book Fridays. See all this week’s Perfect Picture Books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog, or find the entire listing at her Perfect Picture Books page.

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