CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 9 . . . . January 4, 2002
Using the persona of a motorbike cop, Bouchard's gruff-talking fairy keeps watch of her charges on routine tours of the neighbourhood. Ever on the lookout for loose teeth, she has a special affinity for Victoria, whose family, with a biker father and a dog named Easy Rider, doesn't fit the suburban norm. When it seems that Victoria's dad doesn't buy into the whole magic scene, the fairy decides to teach him a lesson, with absurd and satisfying results.
Illustrator Dean Griffiths has entered into the spirit of this one-of-a-kind tooth fairy story. He has portrayed her in black sunglasses and helmet with long blond braids streaming as she flies about on her Harley, brandishing a leather riding crop "wand." He's used interesting perspectives throughout, so that the relative size of the little biker fairy changes with different scenes. She appears tiny next to people or ordinary objects, but, in aerial views when she is in the foreground, she appears that same size as the children she's observing. This approach will help children identify with her while maintaining her unique fairy characteristics. Bouchard has given the illustrator lots of leeway, only hinting at how the fairy deals with the bullies and how she nails the father "with one of her best." Griffiths uses visual gags to elaborate the deadpan voice of the text, creating incongruous humour. I did find that his faces are drawn somewhat awkwardly, but that does not detract from the enjoyment of the book.
In all, children will be amused by this unusual tooth fairy with her unconventional methods, and they will feel reassured by the fierce protection she has for her charges.
Alison Mews is the Director of the Curriculum Materials Centre at the Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's, NF.
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