EL HADA ROBERTA (Roberta the Fairy)

Lucía, a chubby, freckle-faced girl, has a hard time fitting in at school. Her classmates tease her and she is the last one picked for the soccer team. Her luck changes, however, once her newly assigned fairy godmother arrives. Roberta has good intentions, but being frequently distracted, some of her spells get Lucía into unexpected trouble. On a field trip to the zoo, Roberta causes the animals to escape, so the class rushes back to the bus, returning early to school and ruining an otherwise enjoyable day. On another occasion, Lucía takes refuge in the library, where Roberta is flabbergasted by the fairy tales. Her comments to Lucía, combined with Lucía’s fruitless attempts to hush her, are enough to get them thrown out for the day. Short chapters include beautiful occasional illustrations in shades of gray (oh yeah!). The conversational tone, sprinkled with casual expressions, creates the impression that the narrator is telling the story face-to-face. The fairy godmother may not solve all the girl’s problems, but readers will enjoy the ride. Recommended for bookstores and library collections.