Book review: The Fairy and Chupacabra
Vail CO, Colorado
Children’s books always baffle me. They’re intended to be read to small children at an age when their imaginations run wild and the beasts under the bed and in the closet are more frightening and real than anything that can actually harm them. So why is it that writers of children’s books always populate their works with the most bizarre and scary creatures known to man?
At least in “The Fairy and the Chupacabra and Those Marfa Lights” there is no big bad wolf waiting to eat the kids in some remote village or a headless horseman waiting in the woods to exact revenge on some poor school teacher.
No, in this book (the first in a series) there really is no villain or hero. Instead, authors James Mangum and Sidney Spires tell the tale of a fairy named Javier who decides to leave his fairy clan and visit a nearby Texas town. The fairies are amazed by humans. Watching them during their daily lives is one of their favorite pastimes.
Along the way Javi bumps into a chupacabra, not the fabled goat killer of lore, but a kind creature with large fangs and a body covered in purple polka dots and orange stripes. The two befriend one another and we see that distinctly different creatures with completely different lifestyles and purposes can get along just fine.
The book is creatively illustrated by Mangum to look more like traditional Mexican folk art using lots of bright colors and broad lines. But perhaps the best feature of the book is the Spanish to English glossary that the authors have included to help teach the meanings of the Spanish words and phrases found throughout the story.
As a fairytale (quite literally) “The Fairy and the Chupacabra and Those Marfa Lights” is a pleasant departure from castles, dragons, and witches and the subject matter is interesting enough to keep the attention of little kids, even if it is just for the pictures.
High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or email@example.com.