The Very Fairy Princess: Graduation Girl! by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton

The Very Fairy Princess: Graduation Girl!

by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton

Illustrated by Christine Davenier

Ages 3 to 6. Little, Brown and Company.  April 2014. 32 pages. ISBN: 978-0316219600.  Fiction.

At a Glance/Summary:

Gerry is about to graduate from kindergarten.  Sounds simple enough — but it is easy to forget how stressful change can be.  Gerry is pretty worried about what the future holds for her.  Fortunately, she has wonderful parents and excellent, patient teachers who are there to support her and address her concerns about going into first grade.  Plus, there’s a hedgehog!

Where to Get it:

Why You Should Read The Very Fairy Princess:  Graduation Girl!

  • Fans of Fancy Nancy and Ladybug Girl (which we are) will find that The Very Fairy Princess is of the same high caliber in storytelling, imagery, and life lessons.
  • The illustrations are wonderful!  It is, gratefully, a princess book that is not nauseously pink and sparkly.  Don’t get me wrong, there is pink and there are sparkles — it is just tastefully done.
  • Excellent vocabulary:  enthusiastic, hobnobbing, exuberance, curveball, portrait, occasion, sentimental, appetite, stressed, tassel, graduation, ceremony, posture, adjust, applaud, accessories, etc.  I remember a few of these words being on my SAT in high school.  Not too shabby having your three-year-old running around saying them.
  • Addresses how hard change can be — especially going from kindergarten to elementary school — without preaching.  It’s easy to forget how hard change can be, especially when you’re a child.  Reading this book reminded me just how hard childhood can be — even when all is well and good.
  • Gerry is a very accessible character.  Boys and girls can quickly and easily relate and identify with Gerry’s joys and concerns.
  • The story does a good job of normalizing worries.  As my son is approaching the “fearful fours” it is helpful for me and him to see other children worrying and that the constant bombardment of “what ifs” is entirely normal and universal.
  • It is part of a series, so if you enjoy this book there are more adventures waiting for you and your little ones.  I tell you, reading a good series is like getting to see an old friend again and again.
  • Portrays adults well.  All of the parents and teachers in this book are supportive, caring, and loving.  I appreciate all of the backup I can get.
  • It has a wonderful resolution!  The story is upbeat, positive, and brings a happy and satisfying conclusion.

How My Three-and-a Half-Year-Old Son Responds to this Book:

My eldest is ALL boy.  He loves all things construction, dirt, loud noises, and anything rough and tumble.  I wasn’t sure how he’d respond to this book at his current stage.  I should have known better to think this book would be too “girly” for him.  For while he may be all boy, he does, first and foremost, love a good book.  It doesn’t matter if it is a “girl book” or a “boy book” — a good book is a good book.  So despite the fact that the main character is a self-declared fairy princess it isn’t strictly a “girl book”– the strong story and engaging illustrations make this a book that both boys and girls can enjoy.

We’ve read this book many times at this point and we never read it just once.  He wants to read it at least twice each time.  I’ve seen him a few times looking through the book by himself and a few times he’s asked me what a word means.  He especially likes the word: exuberance. (It’s fun to say, especially if you say it emphasizing the “xu.”)  He’s been trying to figure out how to use the word, which has made for some endearing moments — because small children using big words is a recipe for cuteness.

He worries when Gerry worries, stresses when Gerry stresses, and rejoices when she does.  This book appears to be quite the emotional roller coaster for him.  He didn’t ask for a crown or a magic wand for himself — but instead asked me if I’d like a pair of fairy wings.  (Sure, don’t we all want wings?)  He was also intrigued and wanted to know if fairy princesses are real. (Well…)  He does, however, now want a hedgehog (a class pet in the book).  He’s started lobbying for one, but we’ll see how long it lasts.

This is a fun book to read with him and it gives me a good reference for him when he starts to worry. “Gerry worried and see, everything turned out okay.”  It’s good stuff.  I’m looking forward to reading more of The Very Fairy Princess books with him.  They’re all things good.

Author/Illustrator Websites:

Other Reviews of this Book:

 

Where Obtained:  I received a review copy from the publisher.  No other compensation was received.  The opinions expressed here are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

FTC Disclosures:  Some of the links in the post above are Amazon affiliate links and others are IndieBound affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase something, I will receive an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you — which goes to fund my family’s picture book habit.  It’s a vicious cycle, but we manage.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

6 comments

  1. I love your reviews, because they are so real. 🙂 I have just joined a Picture Book Club on Goodreads, and this sounds like a great book. I may suggest it for the future when I figure out how the group works. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great review. I have a three-year old girl who loves anything girly and I’m sure she’ll love this, too. And this blog is a great idea, in general! Especially for moms who’d want to find great books for their kids.

    Like

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