Cover image for Penelope Jane : a fairy's tale
Penelope Jane : a fairy's tale
Cash, Rosanne.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollinsPublishers, 2000.
Physical Description:
1 volume : color illustrations ; 23 x 26 cm + 1 music compact disc
Penelope Jane, a spunky fairy whose mischievous behavior causes chaos in the classroom, uses some quick thinking and a song to save the school from a fire. Includes lyrics and music.
General Note:
"Joanna Cotler books."
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.2 0.5 41523.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J CD KIT TEXT Juvenile Compact Disc Media Kits

On Order



Tall as an eyelash,
quick as a plane
was the tiniest fairy,
Penelope Jane.

Penelope Jane de la Fesser, a flying French fairy, is just the perfect size to live in the right-hand dresser drawer of her very best friend, five-year-old Carrie. When this eyelash-fall fairy decides one day to go to school with Carrie, she doesn't let her tiny size stand in the way of getting into some really big trouble! But when the whole school is suddenly in danger, Penelope Jane musters a lion's share of courage in order to save the day.

This deluxe book-and-CD package features the original song "How to Be Strong," written and performed by Grammy Award-winning singer Rosanne Cash. Quirky, energetic illustrations by award-winning artist G. Brian Karas bring to life the mountains of fun packed info this story about the smallest of heroines.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. This is a sweet rhymed tale about a contemporary French American fairy by a well-known singer and song writer. Penelope Jane, eyelash-high, is the same age (five) as her friend Carrie, in whose bedroom dresser PJ lives. One day, PJ hitches a ride to school on Carrie's shoulder, and despite her assurances that she'll be perfectement, she gets into all sorts of trouble. However, when a carelessly left magnifying glass starts a fire in a trash can, it's tiny Penelope Jane who finds a novel way to pull the fire alarm and save the day. Safe at home that night, PJ offers to teach Carrie her "how to be strong" song, an irresistible, vintage Cash ditty, recorded on a CD included with the book (Cash's daughter Carrie--catch the name?--sings backup). Karas' artwork is just the right mix of color and whimsy. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

Karas's (Home on the Bayou) animated illustrations save the day for Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Cash's first children's book, told in unaccomplished rhyming text. Penelope Jane is a tiny French fairy ("Tall as an eyelash/ quick as a plane") who lives with her fairy mom in five-year-old Carrie's top dresser drawer. Tired of studying fairy rules at her own tiny school, Penelope Jane decides to stow away on Carrie's shoulder and explore human-size academia. A string of classroom mishaps earns Penelope Jane time in the corner, feeling horribly out of place. But before things get too sad, Penelope Jane turns into a hero. Inspired by Cash's song "How to Be Strong" (attributed in the story to Penelope Jane's mother), the little fairy's confidence and quick thinking help prevent a fire emergency. The text sometimes stumbles to accommodate the rhyming couplet format, and the language lacks luster ("Our wild little fairy felt sorry and sad./ She slunk to the corner; she knew she'd been bad"). Fortunately, Karas's childlike gouache-and-pencil scenes add some oomph. His views of tiny flitting fairies sitting at their acorn desks, Carrie's frazzled teacher and the bemused classroom pet Mr. Turtle emphasize motion and just a little mischief. A CD recording of "How to Be Strong" is included. Ages 4-8. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-Penelope Jane is an eyelash-high fairy who lives with her mother in a dresser drawer in five-year-old Carrie's bedroom. Though she attends fairy school, her visit to the little girl's classroom is less than successful. "She dive-bombed the turtle./She pestered the fish./She logrolled the chalk./She danced in a dish." Ordered to the corner by the frazzled teacher, the little sprite is resigned to spending lunchtime alone, but when a fire breaks out, she recalls a song that her mother wrote, "How to Be Strong," that empowers her to summon help. The story is told in rhymes, some of which are weak and forced, and its logic is at times shaky. The book includes a CD of the song recorded by Cash; the words and music are included at the back of the book. Karas's zippy cartoonlike illustrations help anchor the story: Penelope Jane is a sturdy creature with bobbed brown hair and practical play clothes. There are lots of nifty details, such as the little yellow mustard tracks P.J. leaves behind after managing to snarl herself up in a sandwich. A pleasant, appealing book, but one that has stronger art than story.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster County Library, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.