Sophie Kinsella (text), Marta Kissi (illus.), Mummy Fairy and Me, Penguin Australia, 2 Jan 2018, 176pp., $14.99 (pbk), ISBN: 9780141377889
Sophie Kinsella’s adult books are the kind of read I think that can best be described as when you finish, you will have a smile on your face. On the surface, it might not seem like the esteemed literary fiction we are often told is worth more than commercial fiction, but there’s something to be said for the genuine warmth and engagement she offers in her writing.
And that is something that translates well for a younger generation in Mummy Fairy and Me.
I don’t know about you, but I think Mums are magic – they can do everything, and even if you think something can’t happen, they’ll make it happen and fix everything. See – magic! And that is exactly with Ella’s Mum is – magic, as in a fairy.
Ella as it turns out comes from a family of women who are all fairies, and when she grows up, she will be too – her gran is wise and patient, and maybe old fashioned, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Her Aunty Jo is the kind of woman is a high achiever, who wins prizes for casting spells, and her mum is someone who might be impatient, and might not always get her spells right, but she always tries her best and teaches Ella the same.
And here’s some lovely, hilarious detail about her mum: she has a ComputaWand and gets lessons about being a fairy from her fairy tutor, on Fairytube. There’s a delightful modernisation to the magic in this book that will make readers laugh!
The stories in this book all revolve around Ella and her Mum especially, in situations that are hilarious – but what struck me was that it was always positive. Ella’s Mum might get her spells wrong, but Ella is there to help her out, and remind her of the right spell to use. Ella’s Mum in turn reminds her daughter that it is more important to win on her own merits, and not to let a bully’s words affect her.
Overall, I found this to be an utterly delightful read, and reminder to stay positive and true to yourself – whether you’re a Mummy Fairy or her daughter.
Reviewed by Verushka Byrow