By Megan Northcote
This modern-day fairy tale about making wishes come true is a whimsically wonderful read-aloud for early elementary students. Betsy K. Glory lives on a remote island with her ice-cream-making father and pays weekly visits to her mermaid mother. One day, she meets an inconspicuous toad whose giant half-sister, Princess Olaf, turned her from a princess into an amphibian. The only way to turn Betsy's toad friend back into Princess Albee is by picking berries on Gongalong Island under a full blue moon (which happens “sometimes never”) and using the berries to make a special wish-granting ice cream. As luck would have it, Mr. Tiger, a circus master, and his tiny Gongalong human acrobats team up with Betsy and her parents to try to rescue Princess Albee. But will Ivan the Timid, a large giant inhabiting the island, stand in their way?
This book would be a perfect choice for a teacher or grown-up to read aloud to a K-3rd grade class or student. Second and third graders would delight in reading it themselves; the expressions and vocabulary are a bit unusual, but the beautiful blue ink illustrations that run throughout the text provide great context clues and bring to life the wildly imaginative details that make this playful book shine. The text is in a blue font which, the publisher notes, is specifically designed to assist dyslexic readers.