Normally I wouldn’t refer to the achievements of an author’s parents in a review but Jessica Ahlberg is so directly continuing the family business that it is impossible not to refer to Janet and Allan Ahlberg. The heroine of Fairytales for Mr Barker travels through the worlds of fairytales as if they are movie sets (the colliding of characters much in the style of Each, Peach, Pear, Plum) where the next ‘set’ can be glimpsed through a cut away window (cf Peepo.) And Jessica’s illustrations do have a similar soft comfort to those of her mother’s.
Lucy is the heroine of Fairytales. She is strong headed and leads her fairytale companions out of danger of their respective nemeses (accompanied by her eponymous dog). It’s fast paced and fun and although it may not be very original it is very comforting. I also love how the story starts on the flyleaf before the ‘official’ beginning of a book as if the tale, and the heroine, are too important to be confined.
Heroine rating 4/5