Wednesday 23 January 2013

Princess and Fairy: Enchanting Carnival

Princess and Fairy: Enchanting Carnival by Anna Pignataro (Scholastic Australia)
HB RRP $19.99
ISBN 978-1-74283– 320-0
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Princess and Fairy are best friends who live in fairyland. In Enchanting Carnival, the sixth Princess and Fairy book, the holidays have arrived and the two friends have plenty of activities to keep them busy. One day, while they are playing on the beach, a hot air balloon drops them an invitation to the Carnival, along with a list of objects to find along the way.

From this point all the pictures contain hidden objects. Marvellously intricate illustrations hide all the objects on the list, things such as four glass balls, two musical noses and a flea circus carriage. These double spread pictures are busy, full of bunnies, carnival folk, sideshows, rides and other fairyland landmarks. They are soft, magical and enchanting and could be looked over countless times, with new discoveries made every time the book is read. All the pages are filled with sweet fairyland images: mushrooms, star lanterns, horse drawn caravans, creating much distraction and diversion for the reader as they search for the hidden treasures.

The story, also, is rich with imagery and written in magical rhyme:

‘The Elf Storm, the Witch Whirl, and the Hobgoblin Slide,
Make Princess and Fairy all wriggly inside.’

The sparkly cover and cute bunnies will attract young girls from about 3 years old, but the curly script and the reasonably tricky look-and-find elements will draw in older girls as well for long stints of scrutiny.

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