A night fairy is born just before midnight on the night of a full moon. Her wings are beautiful but, unfortunately, they attract the attention of a confused young bat. He mistakes her for his dinner and grabs her, crumpling her wings and rendering what little remains useless. Hurt, afraid, and angry, Flory decides she will become a day fairy to avoid bats altogether.
Flory finds a home in an abandoned birdhouse in an old woman’s backyard. The daylight begins to grow on her: she befriends a young squirrel who will do anything for a snack, and she enjoys watching the colorful bird swoop from tree to tree. But what she longs for more than anything is to ride upon the back of a hummingbird. When she finds a mother hummingbird trapped in a spider’s web, Flory recognizes the opportunity to have the hummingbird’s eternal gratitude.
With an economy of language that is astonishing, Schlitz develops a character that is flawed almost in every way. Flory is selfish, self-righteous, proud, often bitter, jealous, and rude - a most satisfying young heroine! Yet she is also resourceful, brave, and smart. She grows throughout the story with a reluctance we can all believe and relate to.
There is also big adventure in this book! Bat attacks, squirrel rides, a scary spider confrontation, and the footsteps of the giantess who fills the tubes with bird seed and sugar water. This is a fairy book for the reader who likes their action served with a little side of spooky.
I must mention the book is beautiful. Each illustration by Angela Barrett is more breathtaking than the next. The depictions of the garden at night are particularly gorgeous, and I appreciated that Flory looks just as if she belongs to the evening sky.
Stunning and delightful!