I read this book to my four-year-old daughter, and she has since become obsessed with it. We continue to read it chapter by chapter, over and over again each night. She runs around the house and back yard pretending to be Marigold and Dragonfly, and she has demanded a peacock feather wand and a fairy handbook. After doing some research on this series, I have discovered that the pages of a fairy handbook appear blank to ordinary people, so it was easy to buy a blank journal and print a label for the cover. Now, she writes in her fairy handbook daily with crayons, usually 3 giant words per page, and draws pictures of butterflies and fairies. Having almost memorized this book, I am looking forward to the day whan she can read it on her own. I recommend Marigold and the Feather of Hope to any parent of a fairy princess with a word of warning - this story can be addictive.
As an avid reader of fairy stories, I was extremely surprised to discover that the fairy characters in this book are real girls. But it makes sense for the fairies to be real human beings since there is so much at stake for mankind with the possible loss of all hope on earth. The fairies show impressive courage in battling the gremlins to rescue the Feather of Hope. If the concept put forth in this story were real, I wonder how girls this young (8 years old) could possibly handle the responsibility of the job of protecting nature and fixing the world's serious problems. It is certainly something for young girls to aspire to. Beth's initial attitude regarding her aunt's peculiarities really struck a cord with me as I remember being embarrassed in my youth to be seen with an eccentric relative. In many ways, this is a story we can all feel connected to. Shortly after reading this book, I saw a migrating monarch butterfly and actually wondered - Are you perhaps a fairy? This is ideal reading for girls 8-13, or anyone who enjoys children's fantasy.
Except for Tale of Despereaux and a few "cautionary tales" there aren't very many new fairy tales being written. This is a higher reading level than Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks. I would say more along the lines of Rapunzel and Cinderella, two of my kid's favorites. However, this book is more modern. There are some morals worked into the story but nothing directly religious. The young girl heroines are very independent and confident for their ages and are good role models for girls. This book would appeal to younger boys too because of the boy fairy brownies, gremlins, dachshund, and because they will probably admire the strong little girls. The brownies also have an incredibly important job in spreading hope over the entire world. I recommend this book for girls 6-12 and boys 6-10. It would be a good read-aloud book for 3-6 year olds. There is also a strong nature aspect to this book because the fairies protect nature. Good story and my kids and I are looking forward to more in this series. Jas Bertolli
This author has found an exciting way to entertain while exposing young readers to diverse cultures and nature appreciation. I have read the book to my 3 year old daughter, and amazingly the story held her interest! She actually asked when we were going to read the story again. Thank you for making this excellent adventure available for readers of all ages.