Saturday, August 22, 2009

Review: Philippa Fisher and the Dream-Maker's Daughter

Summary: Philippa Fisher is trying to have a good time on vacation with her parents, but she’s feeling lonely. When she meets Robyn, a girl with sad eyes and a strict father, she enjoys the company, but can’t help wondering what Robyn and her dad might be hiding. Meanwhile, Daisy, Philippa’s best friend (and fairy godsister), sneaks into her former charge’s room for a visit, but now has a furtive new mission and must dash away. Philippa longs to uncover the reasons behind her friends’ odd behavior, but friendships can be tricky when there are secrets -- and unexpected danger -- involved! Best-selling author Liz Kessler is back with a sympathetic story about navigating between old friends and new, a tale full of mystery, whimsy, and all the magic tween readers could wish for.

Philippa Fisher reunites with her spunky fairy godsister in a sparkling new adventure from the creator of Emily Windsnap. -- Candlewick Press

Last month, my daughter and I read THE TAIL OF EMILY WINDSNAP by Liz Kessler for our Mother-Daughter Book Club. Not only did all of the girls in our group absolutely adore this story, but I thought it was pretty terrific too. We all agreed that it was a good thing that THE TAIL OF EMILY WINDSNAP was the first book in a series because we could read more about Emily and her family.

So you can probably guess how excited I was to find that Ms. Kessler has written another series for middle-grade girls. I just finished reading PHILIPPA FISHER AND THE DREAM-MAKER'S DAUGHTER, which is actually the second book in this Philippa Fisher series; and I think I enjoyed it as much as the Emily Windsnap book. The only issue I had with the book is that I wanted to get my hands on the other books in the series right away.

When my daughter and I discovered that there was a prequel to this book, I immediately tried to request it from the library. Unfortunately, our local branch doesn't carry any of the books in this series -- I think I'll be having a little chat with the children's librarian next time I'm there! I want to mention that PHILIPPA FISHER AND THE DREAM-MAKER'S DAUGHTER definitely can be read and appreciated as a stand-alone book. I thought the author did a great job of giving hints about what occurred in the first book; however, I just like to read a series in order!

All of the things that I enjoyed so much in EMILY WINDSNAP were definitely in the PHILIPPA FISHER book -- the beautiful imagery, the fantasy, the wonderful characters, and so many terrific messages. I just flat out enjoyed this story and I have a feeling that young girls are going to love it too. I think Ms. Fisher's books are a wonderful blend of fantasy and reality; and the characters are all so memorable. I would be remiss not to mention how much I enjoy all of the beautiful descriptions -- I could picture the story as I read it. Plus, there are a few illustrations scattered throughout the pages which definitely enhanced the story.

As a mother, I absolutely adored all of the messages and lessons that were in this book. I loved the character of Philippa -- she has so many terrific character traits. I thought it was precious how she appreciates her parents even when they act a little goofy; and I thought she was the perfect image of a good friend. There were so many reminders of what makes a good friendship in this book; however, there were also some deeper messages about love and loss. I thought this book did a good job with the way it handled grief as well as the mourning process. PHILIPPA FISHER AND THE DREAM-MAKER'S DAUGHTER would be a fantastic book for a mother-daughter book club to read or even a book to co-read with your daughter!

Ms. Kessler has a truly beautiful website that you should really visit. I had so much fun just scrolling my mouse over the page and discovering all the little tidbits on the site. I especially enjoyed visiting the secret area where you could unlock "secrets" about the books by answering some questions.

Thanks to The Picnic Basket and the publisher for providing an ARC of this book.


Beth F said...

Sounds like a super series. My great nieces are almost old enough for these books.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love books with good messages for kids! (I just finished Savvy and thought that, and I noticed in your review you did too!)

bermudaonion said...

The title and the cover caught my eye immediately. It's nice to know the inside of the book lives up to the outside.

Beth Kephart said...

You write the most thorough, wonderful reviews!