Written by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by David Small.

When the glass castle starts shattering to pieces, the king knows just who to ask—Bloom, a helpful but messy fairy he once banished for leaving too many muddy tracks behind. When he finds Bloom in the woods, he asks for her magic, but all she shows him is a bucket of mud. Aghast, he decides to send an ordinary servant, Genevieve, to deal with her instead. At first, delicate Genevieve, too, is dismayed by Bloom’s love of mud. But soon, Bloom shows her its magic—it’s perfect for making bricks—and before long, they’re up to their elbows in it. Covered in dirt and grime, Genevieve returns to the glass castle with a solution that, though not dainty or tidy, is exactly what the king needs.

Small’s swirly ink-and-watercolor illustrations in soft pastel colors are full of comic details, and whenever Bloom is around, appropriately muddy splatters cover the page. In a charmingly old-fashioned tone that’s ideal for reading aloud, this ode to messiness reminds little ones that sometimes ordinary things are perfectly magical.

Atheneum — Feb 2016