'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 7 May 2010

Review: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Title: The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Author: Sue Whiting

Illustrator: Sarah Davis

Publisher: New Frontier, A$27.95RRP

Format: Hardcover

ISBN: 978 1 921 042621

For ages: 3-8

Type: Picture Book

About: Fairies? Candy? Royal Kingdoms and cute little babies? Surely the perfect elements for a modern-day fairytale take that will delight any young child, and The Sugar Plum Fairy does just that.

Drawing on the classic fairytale The Nutcracker and its magnificent composition - The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy by famed composer Tchaikovsy, Whiting has constructed a sweet tale about a young couple who are the finest candymakers in the land.

Toiling daily over vats of sugary syrup, kneading and twisting and chopping their delicious creations into tempting treats, Marcus and Mary are treated to a visit by their purple-tracksuited-King, who has a nose – and what a nose – for all things sweet.

Enamoured by the couple’s delicious sugarplum lollies, the greedy King demands fifty jars to be ready by sun-up. Horrified, Marcus and Mary work slavishly the whole night long but are only able to make twenty-five jars before collapsing into bed.

But what is that glimmering shimmer coming from the kitchen? When the couple awake, they are astounded to discover their order of fifty jars fulfilled!

As the King demands more sugarplum candy, the couple’s workload is most miraculously fulfilled until one night they catch their little miracle worker in the act – the Sugar Plum Fairy! fulfilling the King’s sugary demands with a flick of her wand.

Marcus and Mary are thrilled with their new little miracle, but what will happen when their candy gives the King a bellyache? Can the Sugar Plum Fairy help them with a cure?

Stunning, Disney-esque illustrations by Sarah Davis beautifully capture the essence of this lovely tale – brimming with character and emotion, with luscious detail, succulent colour and a warming sense of wit.

The book is wordy but a pleasure to read and variant typeface style and placement easily hold interest while little eyes voraciously scan the pictures. Whiting’s characters charm and entrance – and parents will love the bonus CD narrated by Antonia Kidman. Sweet and magical.

Author website

Illustrator website

This book is available online