“10 Little Fairies” is a book for children ages 3 months to 12 years old designed to help teach them how to count to ten. The story follows the ten titular young fairies as they visit the Queen and attempt to convince her that they should receive their fairy wings. One by one, they introduce themselves and showcase a special talent to the Queen to prove to her that they deserve them. These talents include dancing, drawing, telling jokes, doing acrobatics, singing, doing magic, playing an instrument, skating, reciting poetry, and playing sports. By the end of the story, each of the little fairies has been rewarded for their talent, patience, and hard work. The text only comprises a small portion of the book, the rest of which is devoted to watercolor style illustrations depicting the events described. Hansen doubles as the book’s illustrator.
“10 Little Fairies” offers everything you want in a children’s book; it’s fun, cute, musical, and comes with fantastic illustrations that are sure to keep your kids engaged. It promotes hard work and patience and, depending on their age, it encourages your children to learn new skills. As a learning tool, the book has merit with charming verses that are sure to entertain your children. There are a couple phrases repeated throughout the book as a fun way to get them more interested in learning to count.
One of the standout features of the book is its illustrations and, in particular, the diversity of representation among the young fairies. The pictures depict the ten fairies very clearly coming from several different racial and ethnic backgrounds; they are all different shades with all different hairstyles. It’s refreshing to see such an effort made, especially during a time when teaching our kids diversity and inclusion has become so important. What’s more is that this is done using strictly illustrations, not words. The result is that Hansen is able to very organically normalize diversity and ensure that young girls of all backgrounds feel represented without having to invoke any kind of conversation that might otherwise be dubbed “political” or deemed age-inappropriate. This choice is subtly supported by the strokes of various natural colors — purple, blue, green, yellow, etc. — that fill most of the book’s pages side by side in rainbow-like fashion, mirroring the young girls on the page.
“10 Little Fairies” teaches young girls of all backgrounds the power of patience and hard work, all while giving a helping hand in teaching them to count.