A Book Of Fairies For Children And (Not So) Grown Ups

I have to admit that I am a huge fan of children’s books. I admire people that put them together. Contrary to popular belief formulating a children’s book is far harder than writing a novel, there are a whole different set of dynamics at work. The number challenge is that the reader is not usually the purchaser. The wallet that gets lightened is the parent or grandparent. The author is faced with a dilemma, the need to appeal to the parent that the book has educational value, and also to the child that there is entertainment to be found within the covers.

Fairy Hunters, Ink. succeeds on both quests. I enjoyed it from the adult perspective, it would be no chore to read it to a child, and hidden within it are lots that is of great educational value.

I think I will start with my gripes, then move on to the things I love in this book. My major gripe, and it likely is one that only a darn reviewer like me would have. It should have been printed on bleached white and glossy paper the illustrations would have been even better than they already are!

I am a child at heart, Fairies, Pixies, Santa Claus, I buy into them all. One only has to see the expression on any child’s face on Christmas day to see the magic. Sheila Dane takes us into that magical world of make believe with Fairy Hunters, Ink.

The author patiently explains that there are many types of fairies, they are everywhere, but, unless you have the dedication, you might not be able to see them. Us adults have a hard time spotting the tiny creatures, but young children, with their better sense of eyesight and their more attuned grasp of the Fairy world can see them everywhere.

I’ll bet you did not know that there are Pocket Fairies? These fairies live on cups of hot chocolate, the raw material coming from those pieces of chocolate accidentally left in ones pocket. This makes great sense, how many times have you put your hand in your pocket and found a squishy piece of chocolate? It was not your pocket to blame, it was your Pocket Fairy making their favorite thing, fairy cups of hot chocolate!

Did you know that there are Fire and Chimney Fairies? These dart and dash so fast that unless you are a professional Fairy Hunter, you will miss them.

In fact there are all sorts of Fairies, the mischievous Sock Fairy, I know this one well. How can two socks come off your feet, yet only one sock come out of the washer?

Sheila Dane takes us into some interesting Fairy affairs.

attic-fairies.jpg

Attic Fairies

OK, I switch back to being a grown up. Being a children’s author is a hard one. The dynamics are brutal trying to find that perfect balance between entertainment and education. Great care must be exercised to find the correct ‘age’ for the story, Make the story line too simplistic and the illustrations to complex you have a loser on your hands, a complex text and simple illustrations puts you in the same boat.

Fairy Hunter’s Ink. has a rich story line, and a diverse vocabulary, this joined with wonderfully lavish illustrations by Rose Csorba makes this the perfect book for ages 7 and above. It may even appeal to younger readers who have a fairly wide vocabulary and an inquiring mind. And of course it will also appeal to the child in us older folks.

The use of words is inventive, parents and children alike should appreciate the fact that as a new word or concept is introduced Sheila Dane takes time to explain it in simple terms. This makes for a self learning experience.

You can order your copy of Fairy Hunter’s Ink. from Amazon. Sheila Dane also has a delightful web site with more information, and you can also view a number of the other illustrations from the book.

Simon Barrett

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