Illustrators: Ardy Scott and Wendy Peterson
read ... Highly Recommended ... 5 stars
Jesse is sitting on a sand dune
imagining merfolk and waiting for the ocean fairies who live
in nests in the foreshore. No one but Jesse knows about the little
fairy penguins. Soon Roger the leader of the fairy penguins and
his friends appear. These are not just any old fairy penguins;
these penguins can speak every language on earth and when they
are near Jesse can understand the language of birds and others.
The penguins tell Jesse of a treasure ship with merfolk living
in it not far out in the ocean. They help her travel out to the
ship by 'penguin power.' When Vegemite accidentally stabs Jesse's
dingy with a dagger he finds in the ship the leader of the merfolk
comes to help Jesse to shore. The Selkie is the ruler of the
sea; he controls storms and waves. The Selkie promises Jesse
a wish, Jesse is completely under his spell, and yearns to see
the beautiful creature again.
Jesse buys a yacht with a coin
Coral found on the treasure ship and now she and her penguin
friends can travel out on the sea whenever they like.
Jesse meets the Selkie, a beautiful
sea princess, Raindown the seal leader and Manomam a seal who
is caught in a nylon fishing line. She and the fairy penguins
travel in a bubble to the undersea city, go to the island where
the merfolk shed their tails and listen to wind harps in the
trees. While on the island Jesse learns something special about
the Selkie and the Sea Wizard.
Australian Writer Peterson has
crafted an especially charming tale of magic, love and kindness
in her book "Ocean Fairies". Amply composed characters
move against a lavishly executed tapestry of intonation, seascape,
and settings in this delightful narrative of a solitary young
girl and her endeavor to overcome misfortune in her life. The
characters are appealing and well-developed, especially the diversified
dispositions of the penguin fairies. Coral likes to sit in Jesse's
lap, Vegemite pines for tuna sandwiches. Timothy is helpful.
Roger is the shrewd, sensible leader. Zestful action, first class,
energetic dialogue, and appealing scenarios are all included
in this wonderfully directed tale.
Peterson deftly captures the
imagination of the reader from the opening lines as we meet Jesse
sitting in the dunes and holds interest tight through this gripping
tale to the last paragraph as Rujarn, the merfolk, fairy penguins
and Jessee all join in dance. With a keen eye for detail Peterson
has captured the essence of the sea and those who may live in
With it's beautiful cover and
lovely inner illustrations, splendid storyline and easy reading
style "Ocean Fairies" is a special delight sure to
bring pleasure to youngsters in the target audience. This is
a charming book for classroom use, free reading time, the home
library or for older sister to read to younger sibling.
US kids will find the small 'Australian'
differences of language to be particularly charming I believe.
Enchanting read, I found each
of the little fairy penguins especially appealing. Happy to recommend.