Believe Your Eyes (Cici: A Fairy's Tale #1)

by Cori Doerrfeld (Author) Cori Doerrfeld (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

A lot is changing for Cici. Her parents are separating, her wacky abuela is moving in, and on her tenth birthday, she wakes up with fairy wings! Cici's new magical powers let her see people as they truly are. But what she learns about her friends and family isn't always easy to accept. She has only one day to decide whether to keep her wings. When Cici wishes life could just be normal again, will she choose to believe in the power of fairies?

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Kirkus Reviews

A thoughtful and entertaining mix of fantasy and real-world problems. 


The multicultural cast and universal themes make this a promising start to a series and a solid introduction to graphic novels.

Publishers Weekly

The husband-and-wife team of Doerrfeld (Matilda in the Middle) and Page (the Chicagoland Detective Agency series) launch the Cici: A Fairy's Tale series about a Latina girl who discovers she is a fairy. With Cici's 10th birthday approaching, she unexpectedly sprouts pink wings one morning. Her abuelita then reveals her own wings and tells Cici that the two of them are hadas, or fairies. Cici's powers include "fairy sight": her mother seems to use octopus arms to juggle multiple tasks one busy morning, while Cici's younger sister retreats into a turtle shell, upset by their parents' impending divorce. This is essentially a setup tale--a plot line in which Cici and her friend attend a hot tub party competing with Cici's birthday plays into a follow-the-crowd vs. be-yourself dynamic that helps Cici decide whether to embrace her newfound magical heritage. While the plot is fairly thin, Doerrfeld and Page's vivid cartoons are full of humorous details, while reflecting the deeply felt emotions of a family in transition. Ages 7-11. Author's agent: Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency. (Apr.)

Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Ten-year-old Cici has been through a lot. Her parents announce that they are getting divorced, she feels pressured by her friend to grow up, and she suddenly realizes she has magical powers. And now Cici has only one day to decide whether to keep her newfound powers or discard them. The story moves exceptionally fast, rapidly switching between scenes, which makes it difficult for readers to connect with the characters or learn about their motivations. Refreshingly, Cici's problems don't magically go away by the end, and while she loses some friends, she winds up with stronger ties to her family. The illustrations are colorful and wonderfully explore the magical world. VERDICT A decent graphic novel addition.—Peter Blenski, Greenfield Public Library, WI

Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Candy pinks, purples, and blues dominate the pages, and round-headed, big-eyed (winged) Cici is visually appealing. The illustrations skew a bit younger than the protagonist, but for younger readers, this confectionery graphic novel will give them both whimsy and the chance to consider about how they might be seen as their true selves." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Cori Doerrfeld
Cori Doerrfeld is the New York Times bestselling author-illustrator of The Rabbit Listened and has also created art for such books as That's Life! and Help Mom Work from Home! Originally from Illinois, Cori moved to Minnesota for college and quickly fell in love with the state's natural beauty. This book is her homage to the North Shore along Lake Superior as well as the magnificence and mystery one may find when surrounded by nature. It is also a nod to her dad and Grandpa Lenny and an examination of the many layers that make up the human experience. Today, Cori can still be found exploring Minnesota--now with her husband, two children, and rescue dog, Jinx.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Graphic Universe (Tm)
Publication date
January 01, 2016
CICI: A Fairy's Tale
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV037000 - Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic
JUV012030 - Juvenile Fiction | Fairy Tales & Folklore | General
JUV013020 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Marriage & Divorce
JUV011030 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Hispanic & Latino
Library of Congress categories
Graphic novels
Attitude change
Attitude change in children
Separated parents

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