The Secret Fairy talent Show is a beautiful but also very funny book written by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Penny Dann. My daughter and I first came across the Secret Fairies when we bought 'The Secret Fairy Letters' (see separate review) and so we were very pleased when we found another book featuring the same characters.
In 'The Secret Fairy Talent Show' all the fairies in Fairyland are very excited because they are putting on a talent show for the queen. All are working on their own special talents which include singing, dancing, juggling and magic tricks. The fairies are all very supportive of each other while they are practising. In this book though we meet a pair of mischievous pixies called the Tricksy Pixies. They offer to help the fairies get ready but really are looking on it as an opportunity to play some tricks! So on the big night, when the fairies come to perform their acts - everything goes wrong! Blossom plays her trumpet but it sounds dreadful because there is a caterpillar inside! Lavendar dances but ends up leaping around like a startled frog because the pixies have put tickle powder in her tutu! And so it goes on - every act has been sabotaged by the Tricksy Pixies! The Secret fairies are mortified, but luckily the queen has loved the show and found every act incredibly funny! All the fairies win a bag of Royal fairy dust, and the pixies are fed up because they have inadvertently helped the fairies to win!
One of the lovely things about this book is the attention to detail and the names that everyone and everything is given. All the fairies have lovely names - Blossom, Nettle, Lavendar, Hollyhock and Bluebell! but also I love the names given to other things too - they travel in Busy Bee's taxis, the pixies use 'tickle powder' and the fairies get changed at 'Bluebell's Beauty Parlour'!
All of the pages are beautifully illustrated with lots of lovely detail for all the fairies. My daughter loves looking at each one and what they are wearing - trying to decide which one is her favourite! (Every day it's a different fairy!) All the backgrounds are filled with lots of colourful flowers and lovely woodland scenes which all add to the visual enjoyment of this book!
I also mentioned at the beginning that the book is very funny. The introduction of the Tricksy Pixies means that there is real scope for lots of funny things to happen - my daughter thinks it's hilarious when all the acts go wrong! She particularly laughs when it is the turn of Hollyhock, the singer, who has written down the words of 'Mary, Mary' so that she won't forget them. However, the pixies have changed the words so they now read:
'Hairy fairy in the Dairy
Cows in your garden moo
With rusty bells and cow pat smells
the whole place stinks of ....?'
You can imagine how that would appeal to a four year old!
There is alao a part in the story and the fairies are all discussing their talents. I think these are a very useful couple of pages because it demonstrates that everyone can be good at something, even Bluebell who thinks she is only good at being beautiful but ends up performing magic.
The book is all presented in a lovely font which looks very much like a young person's handwriting. I think that this is much more appealing than some of the typical fonts used. Also there are not too many words on any page so for children attempting to read the story for themselves, it is not too daunting. Also a lot of the story is told through dialogue so there is plenty of scope for trying out different fairy and pixie voices.
So overall, both my daughter and I think this book is great. She is becoming a big fan of the Secret Fairies and we will definitely be looking out for more books about them. We love all the ilustrations too, and with the added humour in this story, it is fast becoming a favourite!
The 'Secret Fairy talent Show' is published by Orchard Books and our hardback copy has a RRP of £10.99. However i bought it from 'The Book People' for only £3.99 which is really excellent value for money!
The Fairy Queen is holding a talent competition, so all the fairies are busy practising flower dancing, playing daffodil trumpets, juggling, and magic tricks. Fairyland is fluttering with excitement - until the cheeky fairies, Tansy and Teasel, decide to put a spanner in the works ...Also look out for the second picture book - to follow soon!