Fairy Chase by Debbie Dadey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fairy Chase is the latest adventure in the Mermaid Tales series by Debbie Dadey. The series features merfriends Shelly, Echo, Pearl, and Kiki, with each book in the series telling a story from one of the friends' perspectives. Fairy Chase features Echo, who finds herself sharing a room with her older sister when her aunt and uncle come for a visit. Annoyed that she has to give up her room, Echo soon finds herself enthralled with her aunt's tales of fairies. Echo becomes determined to find and catch a fairy herself, because if she does, the fairy will give her a gift. With her friends' help -- and with the help of a boy at school -- Echo begins her own fairy chase.
These books are perfect for younger readers, particularly second and third graders. The stories are just long enough to provide a challenge but are heavily illustrated in black-and-white. My rising first grader loved hearing this one read out loud to her. Echo's woes are relatable to young kids (sharing a room with a sibling, trying to figure out why her mother refuses to talk about something, and a teasing kid at school). Fairy Chase is especially poignant because it touches, ever so lightly, on the loss of a parent, and it shows kids how to be empathetic to others' experiences.
Each book in the Mermaid Tales series features a sealife or oceanic lesson woven into the story, which makes them useful for classroom and school libraries. The end of the books always include "reports" from the characters on whatever the chosen subject is (Fairy Chase has short true and false quizzes on water-diving birds). They also include a glossary of ocean-related words used in the story.