Friday, April 18, 2014

Disney Fairies/Tales from Pixie Hollow

Titles:  16 (4 collections of 4 books each)

Authors:  various, published by Disney

Rating:  0 stars out of 3 possible, "D" / "F"
             Not Recommended

Audience:  1st-3rd grades

It sometimes seems the only reading choices offered our young girls range from magical fantasy to supernatural occult!  The Disney Fairies series is obviously less controversial than the Poison Apple books, but it presented a mixed-bag, at best, and really offered little in terms of character, creativity or challenge.

For this review, I read two selections.

In The Trouble with Tink (by Kiki Thorpe) we learn the bizarre backstory of the series:

"Not far from the Home Tree, nestled in the branches of a hawthorn, is Mother Dove, the most magical creature of all.  She sits on her egg, watching over the fairies, who in turn watch over her.  For as long as Mother Dove's egg stays well and whole, no one in NeverLand will ever grow old.  Once, Mother Dove's egg was broken.  But we are not telling the story of the egg here.  Now it is time for Tinker Bell's tale...."

Mother Dove??  I picture James Barrie rolling over in his grave.

The story line of Tink's book is just as improbable, but the real problem is, while the book is supposed to touch on themes of honesty and humility, secret keeping is encouraged, and the story finishes with a cover-up.  These mixed messages confuse the point of the book.

"I don't think anyone else needs to know about this trip, do you?  You've got your hammer back and that's what matters."

Queen Ree's advice to Tinker Bell is similarly misguided:  "Be good to yourself, Tink."

Lily's Pesky Plant, by Kristen Larsen, offered a somewhat better plot.  A bizarre plant growing in Lily's garden turns out to be useful.  Themes touch on acceptance, conflict resolution, sharing, and sacrifice.

If you want to create memorable family reading times, I recommend the original Peter Pan, especially as a read-aloud.  If you need to keep your 7 year-old daughter busy while you prep Easter dinner (and you're not too picky) you could substitute Disney's Tales from Pixie Hollow.

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