A little boy named Freddie rescues Bessie-Belle the fairy and is delighted when she offers to grant him his every wish. But Freddie gets frustrated when none of his wishes turns out as expected. Freddie asks for a pet, and receives a net; he wishes for a dog, and she conjures up a frog; and when Freddie requests a parrot, Bessie-Belle gives him a carrot! Luckily, the Fairy Queen arrives to identify the problem: Bessie-Belle is hard of hearing and can’t understand Freddie because he is mumbling. She teaches Freddie to speak clearly, so everything he wishes for can come true.
Freddie and the Fairy is a light-hearted story highlighting the value of effective communication. It is fantastic to see the story showcasing a central character with hearing loss and wearing a hearing aid (which unfortunately is a rare find!). This book helps the reader to better understand the needs of people with hearing difficulties by cleverly integrating three golden rules: do not mumble, do not turn your head away and do not cover your mouth. It is also a great book to help children who are mumblers to realise the importance of clear speech for getting their message across effectively.
In terms of speech and language goals, Freddie and the Fairy can be used to target prediction skills, where children can guess what the fairy might conjure up next. This is also a great book to target rhyming because when the fairy mishears Freddie, she always produces something rhyming with Freddie’s request. Older children can consider retelling the story from Bessie-Belle’s point of view - a great activity to strengthen inferential and narrative skills.
* Special thanks to Nina Kelly for this book recommendation.
For further speech and language targets in Freddie and the Fairy, see the list below.
Narrative Structure: Complete Episode
Story Plot: Repetitive Tale ; Wishing Tale
Published by MacMillan Children's Books in 2012 (ISBN: 9780330511186)