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A Dandelion Wish by Kiki Thorpe
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A Dandelion Wish

by Kiki Thorpe

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Age 7-9. The third book in Disney’s latest series Never Girls, about four girls and their adventures in Neverland. This installment focuses on Mia and the task set for her to watch her younger sister Gabby. She rejects her responsibility and goes to Neverland anyways, bringing back a fairy named Rosetta to play with. She refuses to let her sister play with them, so Gabby rebels and runs to Neverland alone. The problem is the portal between lands closes and traps Gabby and Rosetta away from their respective homes. Mia and her friends must fix this mix up before her parents realize she’s lost her sister! The story is written in short, formulaic chapters and uses a familiar universe for Disney fans that makes it a solid transition for young girls to explore higher reading levels. The major themes are showing consequences for not following through with your responsibilities and appreciating what you have. Girls with younger or older sisters would especially relate to Mia and Gabby’s frustration with one another and their eventual reconciliation. But really any girl that just loves fairies and adventures will fall in love with this series. Recommended. ( )
  lcaitday | Oct 16, 2013 |
The premise of A Dandelion Wish is frequently borrowed but still effective: children find a portal within their homes to a magical world (that they also must protect from adult interference), and their escape to this world means extraordinary adventures, complicated problem-solving and eventually, inner growth. The magic that a young reader finds within A Dandelion Wish will not be from fairies, but from the comfort of a well-worn tale and lighthearted escapism.
Kiki Thorpe has put two sisters at the center of the third book in The Never Girls series, at odds with each other from the very start, when older sister Mia is stuck babysitting little Gabby instead of venturing back into Neverland with her friends, Kate and Lainey. Both girls attempt to get their own way: Mia sneaks into Neverland and brings a fairy back to her house to try on doll clothes, while Gabby, turned away from the fairy fashion-show fun, makes her own escape to Neverland to seek entertainment.
This story is divided into short, easy-to-swallow chapters, peppered with soft, whimsical gray-scale drawings by Jana Christy, perfect for readers new to chapter books. A Dandelion Wish may be a little cloying for adult readers, but they will appreciate Thorpe’s well-meaning effort to accurately display sibling interactions and their endless battle of who-is-annoying-whom/who-is-being-not-fair-to-whom. They will also hopefully appreciate that a Latino family is so prominently featured in a mass-produced series, which continues to be a rarity in children’s literature. ( )
  ARQuay | Oct 8, 2013 |
I'm always torn by these company tie-ins. On the one hand, they tend to be really popular. Kids like easily recognizable characters, they like to continue the stories from tv that they love, they like the often pretty illustrations and slick marketing. On the other hand, the writing tends to be bland, if not downright painful, and the commercial elements make me feel squicky. I try to keep a balance in my collection and if I see something that I can recommend without wincing too much and I know it will circulate like crazy, I am on that series like that.

This series is a spin-off of the popular Disney Fairies/Tinker Bell franchise. Kate, Mia and Lainey are best friends, even if they have very different interests. Gabby, Mia's little sister, tags along. One day each of the girls hears or sees something magical ending in Gabby seeing an actual fairy, Prilla. Prilla accidentally "blinks" the four girls to Neverland and they have magical and sometimes frightening adventures before finding a way home...they hope. Or would they rather stay on in Neverland?

The plot is thin and the writing a bit wandering, but kids who are fans of Tinker Bell and the Disney Fairies will love the references to familiar magic places, fairies, and things. I also received a copy of the 3rd title in the series, A Dandelion Wish and the characters are more developed as the series continues. The combination of the girls and their everyday concerns and squabbles with the magical world of Neverland is done very well. I appreciated that Mia and Gabby throw in occasional Spanish, but their race isn't belabored and they get a primary part of the story, instead of being the token multicultural friend. I really love Jana Christy's sweet pictures and they're a perfect match for this series. They have a light, magical feel to them and combine the fantasy world of the fairies and the everyday world of the girls very well.

Verdict: There are several other fairy series that are better-written from a literary standpoint, and if we're comparing my preference would be for the Fairy Bell Sisters series by Margaret McNamara, but this will definitely be a high-circulation item and it nicely combines friendship and fantasy in a way that's not overly sweet or too Disneyfied. If you have Disney fairy fans, or kids looking for beginning chapters with a little bit of magic, this will be perfect.

ISBN: 9780736427944; Published January 2013 by Stepping Stone/Random House; Review copy provided by the publisher; Purchased for the library
  JeanLittleLibrary | Aug 25, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0736427961, Paperback)

Kate, Mia, Lainey, and Gabby are special girls. They know how to travel between their hometown and Never Land—through a broken slat in a backyard fence. But what happens when the fence is repaired . . . with one of the girls stuck on the Never Land side? Tinker Bell and the Disney Fairies star in a magical new early chapter book series for girls ages 6–10 The Never Girls!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:10 -0400)

"Mia and her friends have discovered a magical passageway to Never Land! But when her little sister Gabby goes to Never Land alone, the passageway closes up, with a fairy stuck on the Main Land side, too"--

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