Evangeline: The Wishkeeper's Helper by Maggie Alderson
Penguin/Viking, 2011. ISBN 9780670075355.
(Age: 7 - 10 years) Recommended. As a big fan of Maggie Alderson's writing for adults I was interested to see that she had ventured into the world of children's books. I was not disappointed as she has written a story that is an ideal read aloud for girls in the first years of school.
Evangeline is a toy elephant that has been abandoned by her owner and lies under a bed wishing that something will happen so she can be useful again. Then she is transported 'Upstairs' a magical world where children's dreams are granted. During her induction she meets the Easter Bunny, Santa and the Tooth Fairy and learns a lot about friendship. There are eleven chapters and the illustrations by Claire Fletcher are delightful.
The themes of friendship, hope, and making choices are sensitively explored and Evangeline is an engaging character. Recommended for girls who need to move beyond the formulaic writing of the many fairy series available.