Thursday, May 9, 2013

"Jethro Byrd, Fairy Child"

Jethro Byrd, Fairy Child

Graham, Bob. (2002). Jethro Byrd, Fairy Child. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press.

Genre: Fantasy, Children’s Picture Storybook 

Determined to find fairies, Annabelle searches for them outside in the weeds despite her father’s nay saying. Good thing too, because Annabelle soon finds a young boy fairy, Jethro Byrd. Jethro Byrd introduces her to the entire Byrd fairy family. Annabelle helps the family and invites them to come through the fence to join her family for tea and fairy cakes. Annabelle’s mother plays along but her father is too busy tapping away on his computer to participate in this magical moment. Annabelle’s father is much too old and busy to be bothered by fairies, shares the Byrd family. Eventually, the fairies must leave and travel to a family reunion but they have something special for Annabelle that only she and her baby brother can see.

Graham is a favorite in my household. His stories are meaningful, magical, and offer feelings of mutuality. His characters, settings, and illustrations are real. For example, in this story, Annabelle’s family lives in an apartment complex and she plays out on the concrete and in the weeds. Graham could have chosen a single-family house for the setting, but an apartment building with graffiti displayed on a nearby fence is reality for a large number of families and now that population of children can connect with Annabelle in this beautiful story. The message shared about Annabelle’s workaholic father is a nice addition to the story because it emphasizes the genuine and pure nature of children. If fairies flew by my apartment window, I hope that I would see them :).

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