The Wilderness Fairies: Daisy’s Takes Charge by Jodie Wells-Slowgrove, illustrated by Kerry Millard (Puffin Books) PB RRP $9.99 ISBN9780143307471
Reviewed by Dianne Bates
Here is the third in the series set in an Australian wilderness forest that focuses on the adventures of Daisy, a finger-sized fairy who has recently earned her wings. In another gentle and charming story, the reader learns how Daisy helps her musically talented older sister, Maggie, get ready for a concert. Maggie is to go into a Songbird Duet with the magpie Melody, so Daisy, trying to surprise her, decides to embellish a beautiful black dress made by Aunt Acacia with corella feathers. Unfortunately, this proves to be a disaster – but aunt steps happily steps in to remedy the problem.
Just before a performance, Daisy’s friend Pea – a recurring fairy character in the series – introduces her to musicians including Boronia, Grebe, Lark and Ash who are all to perform as well. As events progress, Daisy is forced to use her wand to smooth events which threaten to spoil the rehearsal. Then, when Grevillia -- Boronia’s overzealous mother -- threatens to sabotage Maggie's duet with Melody the Magpie, Daisy has the chance to save the day and redeem herself.
Once again, the Australian bush setting brings a unique aspect to the story and the characters are real and lovable, and unlike many book series for children – they are memorable. For a reader aged 6 to 9 years, especially a girl, this book is a page-turner with lots of action and adventure.
The whimsical ink sketches by one of Australia’s leading illustrators capture the delightful tone of the book. Highly recommended.