'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Review: Fairies - A Magical Guide to the Enchanted Realm

In the same vein as Pirates and How to be the Perfect Princess, both also published by Crows Nest (an imprint of Allen & Unwin), this informative book is for serious fairy lovers only. Aimed at an older audience than the typical be-fluttering, be-winged tot, Fairies combines whimsy with hard and cold fairy fact.

I love the comprehensive information packed inside this book and I particularly love that I learned learned learned stuff when I read it. Readers will discover Fairyland (and the rules fairies must follow if they wish to leave Fairyland and mix with humans), as well as all about the Fairy Queen’s Castle (Titania) and her special rules, the power of fairy dust, fairy arrows, fairy ointment, fairy spades, four-leaf clovers and fairy godmothers.

Garden fairies, farm fairies, woodland fairies, water fairies and famous fairies (yes, including the Tooth one) are featured in the book. House fairies are there, too – and of all the fairies, they are the most helpful to humans, getting stuck into chores and looking after the children – but we must remember to treat them well!
Boggarts, silkies and brownies are all featured, and we also learn about fairy food (no, they don’t eat fairy bread, though fairy cakes are popular - as a treat), fairy homes, fashions and foes.

Of course, the most exciting part of Fairies is the section on finding them. They are notoriously shy and use magic to hide themselves, so it can be tough to spot these elusive sprites. Happily, children are the best at spotting them, and the provided tips will certainly help those intent on catching a magical glimpse.

Illustrated by Patricia Moffett, who is no doubt talented, the variety in illustrative styles in Fairies is a little odd and somewhat compromising of the overall look of the book. I’m also not a huge fan of computer-generated illustrations that give characters that ‘possessed doll’ look.

Overall, however, the use of rich colour, fascinating fact and a fun, snippety layout, make this book a seriously enchanting read for fairy-lovers everywhere.

Author website
Illustrator website

Title: Fairies - A Magical Guide to the Enchanted Realm
Author: Alison Maloney
Illustrator: Patricia Moffett
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, A$14.99RRP
Format: Softcover 

ISBN: 978 1 74237 108 5
For ages: 8+
Type: Picture Book