Daisy's Quest by Jodie Wells-Slowgrove
Ill. by Kerry Millard. Wilderness Fairies bk 1. Penguin
Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780143307464.
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Fairies. Australian bush. Flowers. Daisy, a little fairy living in the Australian bush, is named after the Golden Everlasting or Paper daisy. She is eagerly waiting for the time when she will earn her wings and become a fairy who can fly. When Queen Jasmine sends her off on her Fairy Quest, she is determined to succeed. But along the way she has to decide whether it is more important for her to win her wings or to help someone in need.
What makes this fairy story stand out is its Australian setting. I was fascinated by the descriptions of Australian flowers as Daisy set out on her quest. There is even a vivid description of the Paper Daisy at the end of the book. Daisy's companion is Vu, a chrysomelid beetle, and the species is very rare as the reader finds out in the note about the beetle also at the end of the book. Children will delight in learning the Latin names for the Paper Daisy and the chrysomelid beetle, and will revel in learning more about the flora in the Australian bush. Kerry Millard's illustrations will also add to children's knowledge of flowers and insects, as well as portraying the fairies in a most delightful way.
Of course, anyone who enjoys stories about fairies will love this book. Daisy is a delightful young fairy who looks after the bush and her friends. Her quest for her wings makes for a fascinating story which will be enjoyed by children who are newly independent readers. It would also be a great read aloud and would fit in beautifully in themes of sustainability and conservation.