Gone With The Wand
by Margie Palatini
Cover Artist: Brian Ajhar
Review by Gayle Surrette
Orchard Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780439727686
Date: 15 April 2009 List Price $16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
What does a fairy godmother do when the magic is gone? Well, Bernice Sparklestein is losing her touch -- the wand just doesn't seem to work. But it's not the wand, it's Bernice. She's not happy as a fairy godmother anymore -- it's job dissatisfaction. Luckily, Tooth Fairy Second Class Edith B. Cuspid is willing to do what needs to be done to get Bernice back on track -- including sharing some ideas for new jobs.
The illustrations are pastel and just lovely. Bernice is very similar to the fairy godmothers in Disney's Sleeping Beauty, plump and jolly with round pleasant faces. Edith looks a bit like she just stepped off one of those enjoy your age, wear purple and do what you want greeting cards. It's a beautiful book to leaf through.
The story, in many ways, seems written for adults. Of course, this is a book that would be read to a child, so making the story work on multiple levels is helpful to get parents to read the story over and over and over again. However, as a simple plot where Bernice just doesn't seem to be able to get her wand to work and is looking for something different to do -- it seems too tied up with job satisfaction to work well for children. But it does say that you don't have to stick with one job forever or one idea of what you want to do with your life. You can change your mind and that's okay.
That in itself is a thought worth sharing with children. That maybe this week you want to be a fireman but next week it is okay if you want to be the doughnut man or a rocket scientist or a lion tamer. Sometimes we grow and change and we need to accept that -- so on that level it works, but I'm not too sure the point gets across in this simple tale of a fairy godmother with a misfiring wand.
However, this most important thing to remember is I'm not a child. I didn't happen to have an age appropriate child about when I reviewed this, so for some children this may work wonderfully. As a parent you need to know your child and decide if you think it will work for him or her at this time. Plus just about any book of this type will work well with children if the parent puts their heart and soul into the read-aloud portion of the event.