Friday, May 31, 2013

Rosy's scrawled book recommendation: Flitterwig by Edrei Cullen

Edrei Cullen

Ella has felt different all her life, with her pale, almost translucent skin, wild hair, pointed ears and gangly limbs. Her father has wanted nothing to do with her since her mother's death, and her grandparents hide her away from the world. Then Ella discovers that she really is different. She is a Flitterwig: a human with fairy blood. With the help of some special spectacles, Ella can suddenly see the Magicals-pixies, fairies, troggles, imps and other magic creatures-and learns that it is her destiny to help restore the kingdom of Magus.




Rosy's scrawlings on Flitterwig

This book is for those a little more advanced from early readers, with those likely to enjoy it the most falling between the ages of 6-12. That said, this is a delightful book and likely one to entertain an adult who is reading with or to their child. The main character is a little girl but she's active and brave and a skateboarder too so I see no problem with boys of similar ages enjoying the story, although by age 12 they might not be so interested.
I picked up this book after seeing the blurb for it in a book store catalogue (an excellent one no longer being produced, unfortunately). I'm not usually drawn to children's stories but there was something charming about the blurb and the matching cover illustration that had me wanting to know more about Ella. Maybe it was the fly away hair and the curve to her nose but whatever it was I bought the book and stacked it in my overflowing to-be-read pile. I expected to get to it later, later but life became so busy that reading something easy and sweet seemed a good idea. And if you're an adult in just such a situation I highly advise you to try this book as a lovely fallback to a busy, scattered life. It works rather well to bring a smile to the face and a light to the heart.
And as a child reader, I imagine Flitterwig would be an engrossing tale of elves, goblins, troggles and flitterwigs that involves a young girl becoming the somewhat unwilling (at first) saviour of the elves who are locked in our deadly human world. There are some subtle and not so subtle messages about the consequences of eating too much sugar and of pollution to us and other creatures, which serve to elevate the story from a simple fantasy story to a didactic fantasy story. On this note and for the inclusion of little illustrations by Gregory Rogers like the below, the book has an air of Roald Dahl's style to it (and I say that with the intention of praise as Roald Dahl was and is a favourite author of mine).

The writing style of Flitterwig is smooth and easy to read although not too easy. There's no dumbing down to the language and in fact there are many new words and names to learn the meaning of. Flitterwig serves well as an introduction or bridge to adult fantasy stories by including many of the creatures and themes one can expect with further fantasy reading. It offers high adventure, relationship and personal growth issues, environmental concerns, the clashes between cultures and objectives as well as the inclusion or a heroine and hero who'll save the day through a series of trials focused on personal enlightenment. Overall, between the playfulness of the story, the inclusion of little pictures throughout, the didactic and advanced qualities of the plot there's much to bother reading the Flitterwig for. And all that aside, Ella and Dixon and just a funny fantasy duo worth reading about for their playful antics.

I'd recommend this book to: early readers advancing into more complex stories, fans of fantasy creatures, adults searching for a charming didactic book to read to or with their child and those who simply want a lighthearted and easy mental getaway.

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