[Book Review] Ruby the Red Fairy (Rainbow Magic, #1) by Daisy Meadows

Fairyland is home to seven colorful sisters. Together, they are the Rainbow Fairies! They keep Fairyland dazzling and bright. But when evil Jack Frost sends them far away, the sisters are in big trouble. If they don't return soon, Fairyland is doomed to be gray forever!

Rachel and Kirsty discover Ruby the Red Fairy in the pot at the end of the rainbow. Can they help find the rest of her Rainbow sisters . . . before it's too late?

I have to admit, Ruby the Red Fairy isn't quite what I wanted it to be, and if its flaws hold steady throughout the rest of the series, I'm not sure how long I'm going to stick around. Because, if you haven't heard of the series before, Rainbow Magic is long (and seems to be ongoing?). Think Baby-sitters' Club long. Unless my numbers are off, there are over 140 of these teensy books, most of them being divided into shorter series focusing on specific "types" of fairies--ocean fairies, petal fairies, jewel fairies, party fairies--basically, it seems that there's a set of fairies for just about every noun that the author and/or publishers think will appeal to children.

In this first installment of the series, we meet our main characters, Rachel and Kirsty, as they arrive on Rainspell Island, where they will discover something magical--a little red fairy. As it turns out, there's a crisis in fairy land, and the seven rainbow fairies have been sent to Rainspell Island; in their absence, the fairy land has lost its color, and so the girls must find, rescue, and return each of the fairies to their home.

Ruby the Red Fairy focuses on the girls' rescue of--you guessed it--a little red fairy named Ruby. And by the time it's over--which is phenomenally swift as the book is less than seventy pages long--I couldn't help but realize that I hadn't actually read a book. I'd read a prologue. In Ruby the Red Fairy, the girls meet one another, find the fairy, go to Fairy Land to get the exposition and their quest... and then the book's over. The entire book is just beginning. Very weird.

That in mind, I'd recommend Ruby the Red Fairy to very young readers edging their way into chapter books. The stories are super short, the type is rather large, and there are illustrations on just about every page. But if you do set down with your son or daughter to read Ruby the Red Fairy... well, you might want to think about having a copy of Amber the Orange Fairy and the rest of the first batch of sequels handy just in case they too wonder where the heck the rest of the story is.

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