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

Friday 23 February 2018

Review: Witchfairy

Witchfairy, another book from Latvia, translated by Laura Watkinson, is about Rosemary, a fairy with a difference.

Rosemary doesn’t want to be sweet and nice, stay clean and quiet. For her birthday she wants roller skates instead of a wand. Her mother is aghast at the idea, forcing Rosemary to choose to leave home, and live in the witch wood.

Where the witches live, Rosemary can get dirty, shout, play and do crazy, childish things without reprimand or restriction. She discovers witches aren’t nasty and cruel; that they love adventure, the unusual, and freedom. That’s what Rosemary loves too.

When Mum starts to miss Rosemary terribly, she sets out to find her. She discovers her child wild, happy and carefree, and finds that sharing the untamed environment with Rosemary brings them closer together. Mum finally recognizes that children need the freedom to be themselves, to discover their world and their place in it. Now Rosemary doesn’t need to be a witch or a fairy, but can be both together and happy.

This stunning book of many themes, mainly compromise, examines the protective side of parents and their natural longing to keep their child from harm. It also allows the reader to see the child’s point of view and their need for freedom to express themselves; to be and become who they are.

Carll Cneut has created an atmosphere of joyous play and independent movement through the book with his brilliant illustrations which are in perfect harmony with the text and themes. The unique yet appropriate faces of the characters add to the luxurious quality of the book, its impressive layout and design. The choice of salmon pink for the fairy against a similar lighter watercolour wash background was perfect. The pointed hats, and long noses on the character’s faces fill the pages with fun and at times sadness, but always with beauty and elegant expression.  

Title: Witchfairy
Author: Brigitte Minne
Illustrator: Carll Cnuet
Publisher: Book Island, $32.95
Publication Date: October 2017
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781911496076
For ages: 6+
Type: Picture Book

Read Anastasia's review of One House For All, here.