Reviews for Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

AudioFile Reviews 2011 September
The author's reading reflects her fondness for the world she has created. She welcomes listeners to Fairyland through the perspective of 12-year-old spunky September. Having been whisked from her boring Nebraska home by a flying leopard, she's charged with ridding this world of the tyrannical Marquess. She runs into inventive characters such as Wyveray, an offspring of a dragon and a library. Sensory details delight as, for example, September steps into a golden frothy bath "redolent of mint and forest nights, and sweet cakes and hot tea, and very cold starlight." A lyrical sentences style, references to classic fantasies, complicated psychology, and philosophical underpinnings may create the need for a second listen. S.W. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine

School Library Journal Reviews 2011 October

Gr 4-7--Twelve-year-old September is bored and lonely. There's not much excitement in Omaha during WWII, so when the Green Wind appears at her window and invites her to explore Fairyland, the girl jumps at the chance. The idea of a fun-filled adventure soon turns tragic when September realizes that the quirky and fanciful residents of Fairyland are cruelly ruled by the mad Marquess. September accepts the challenge to rescue the inhabitants and soon learns that only she can save Fairyland. Catherynne Valente's novel (Feiwel & Friends, 2011) features many storytelling techniques and rich vocabulary that define a thoroughly enjoyable Victorian tale. There are just enough familiar elements, such as witches and djinns, to engage listeners, but also many creative and inventive creatures that bring the fantasy alive. The tale is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and is just as charming, peculiar, and absurd. Valente narrates with perfect pacing and pitch. Listeners who like complicated and fully detailed fantasies will find much to enjoy here.--Wendy Woodfill, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MN

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