If Alice in Wonderland had been written in this century it might have turned out like this. September is taken to Fairyland by the Green Wind on the back of the Leopard of little breezes. The main character is a somewhat self-centered young girl who is lonely due to her father going off to war and her mother having to work as a mechanic in a factory. September finds Fairyland to be a far from idyllic place; it is ruled by a cruel and controlling Marquess who allows no one to contravene her orders. In September‘s travels she befriends a wyverary (think dragon) who is half library and a blue boy named Saturday, a creature who is born of the sea. Together, these three try to find a way to break the Marquess’s hold on Fairyland and bring freedom to all of its occupants.
This nonsense tale contains more than silliness in its pages. September’s adventures in Fairyland causes her to grow more of a heart and to care about others besides herself. Ultimately, it is her choices that propel her along her journey.
It is nice to have an updated nonsense tale that holds together for today’s reader. Kids from 3rd grade on up will enjoy this book.
Age Range: 10 years old on up.
The Girl who circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. 2011. R.R. Donnelley & Sons, VA. 247pp.