Most helpful critical review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent premise, beautiful art style and illustrations, really poor ending.
on 22 December 2014
Which I suppose is a bit ironic, that in a book about getting the right endings to bedtime stories, the author didn't manage to come up with a satisfactory ending for her own book.
Spoilers ahead if that matters.
The good points:
The main character is a 6-fingered girl who lives in a tree and whose job it is is to release all of the happy endings for children's bedtime stories into the night so that the children can sleep peacefully. One night a witch robs her of her bag of happy endings, which leads to all the traditional fairy tales ending horribly and children having nightmares. The main character dreams of finding a magic golden pen that can write on the sky and when she wakes up the pen is there.
All of this is brilliant, magical and imaginative and wondrous, what's really poor is what she chooses to do with it.
With a magic pen whose stories come true, she decides to write that the witch burns to death trying to light a fire and that the smell of her burning to death leads the main character to the bag of happy endings. She has a magic pen whose stories apparently come true, and that's the best solution she can come up with? Seems to teach children to be petty and vengeful in my opinion. She could have spent the night writing her own endings to the bedtime stories, she could write that when the witch finds out what she's stolen she becomes repentant, she could do anything! All the details of what makes the witch a witch are things that the main character writes into reality herself! The witch could have been a proper villain who's grand plan is foiled instead of just a bully who dies for pushing someone over.
I still see some value in this book, but only if, after the main character puts the magic pen to the sky and starts to write, instead of reading on with the rest of the book you turn to your child and ask them what does she write. Ignore what's written in the book after that. (this unfortunately means you also have to ignore the illustrations, I'd suggest replacing them with cards from Dixit or something if you or your child need inspiration for how to finish the story).