The stories come alive for Sarah Jane when she rescues an injured tiny man by bringing him to Aunt Lillian. The two attempt to return him through Lillian's old friend, the Apple Tree Man. Once Sarah Jane is involved the fighting fairy realm kidnap her six sisters to hold as ransom. None of the girls are capable of using or performing magic but use their heads and hearts to help them out of their trouble. While they witness creatures they never thought real their biggest thought is to get back to mama before she misses them.
Told in 260 pages this is an easy read and will hopefully help many of my beginning fantasy readers transition from the Rainbow Magic series to this as I plan to order several of Charles De Lint books for my school library. I love fantasy yet this was my first introduction to his writing. I've already downloaded to my kindle The Cats of Tanglewood Forest which is set several decades before this one. I hope Mr. De Lint has plans to write many adventures with this lively and adventuresome set of sisters.
He came out from the far side of the tree and if it hadn't been for the 'sangman I'd found, I'd have said he was the strangest man I'd ever seen. He was as gnarled and twisty as the limbs of his tree, long and lanky, a raggedy man with tattered clothes, bird's next hair, and a stooped walk. It was hard to make out his features in the moonlight, but I got the sense that there wasn't a mean bone in his body-don't ask me why. I guess he just radiated a kind of goodness and charm. He acted like it was a chore, having to come out and talk to us, but I could tell he liked Aunt Lillian. Maybe missed her as much as she surely missed him. (69)
And now you've met the Apple Tree Man and you probably want to keep reading...
I received this ARC from Little, Brown and Company which in no way influenced my honest review of this delightful tale. Publication date: February 2014, just in time for a sweet little Valentine gift.
I look forward to checking out a published copy as this copy had only little sketches.