Friday, Dec. 17, 2004

Alice the Fairy By David Shannon

Alice cheerfully admits she's only a temporary fairy. She can use her wand to make herself disappear (by pushing the light switch) and can use fairy dust (a.k.a. sugar) to turn oatmeal into cake. But trickier feats, like turning her bath water into strawberry Jell-O or casting a spell so that her dog floats on the ceiling, she realizes, are reserved for permanent fairies, who go to advanced school and must pass a lot of tests. Alice is still at a level in which she suffers setbacks like accidentally turning her white dress into a red one (spilled juice). Spunky, sassy Alice, delightfully portrayed in Shannon's zestful drawings, is a fairy who seems content to remain grounded in the everyday. She senses — and her antics prove — there's plenty of magic there too.