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Fairies are real, and they’re all around us! Award-winning author-illustrator Phoebe Wahl offers a fanciful and beautifully illustrated peek into the hidden world of fairies, sprites, and other magical creatures.
A girl searches for fairies in her backyard and the woods beyond, following little clues and traces of magic. Fairies and other magical creatures can be found on every page, hidden among the flowers, trees and pebbles. But although readers can see them, the girl keeps searching, just one step behind… In the end, it is clear (both to the girl and readers) that there is magic all around, even when it’s hidden in plain sight. Phoebe Wahl takes us deep into the world of fairies, and her vibrant, multi-textured woodland scenes are every bit as enchanting as the creatures therein. A gorgeously illustrated paean to imagination and the natural world.
“Delightful . . . This gently magical outing will appeal not only to longtime lovers of European folklore, but also to fans of the popular “fairy door” phenomenon.”–Kirkus Reviews
Even if a person never sees a fairy, isn’t searching for them enough? Wahl (Sonya’s Chickens) suggests that the answer is yes, pairing a bewitching poem with folksy mixed-media collages. Working in gouache, pencil, and other materials, she creates a landscape dense with vegetation outside a girl’s wood-shingled home, perfect for hiding fairies, sprites, and other tiny beings. “Have you ever found, while out on your own.../ A tiny, magical somebody’s home?” she begins, as the rosy-cheeked, freckled girl sprawls in the dirt, peering into a hollow stump. Tucked behind a toadstool, for readers’ eyes only, sits an elf, puffing on a bubble pipe. Beyond the luscious, lulling verse, a substantial part of the book’s enjoyment comes from seeing what the girl does not. “Where are they?!” she wonders during a midnight excursion; a cutaway reveals a subterranean party in full swing just beneath her feet, where small mythical creatures dance, feast, and cavort in pointy hats and petal gowns. Readers are all but certain to take a closer look at their environs for evidence of magic in their midst. Ages 3–7. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. (Mar.)
In this gentle picture book, a sturdy, redheaded, rosy-cheeked girl searches for fairies in her backyard—and invites readers to come along. Have you ever found, while out on your own… // A tiny, magical somebody's home? // Or sensed a fluttering, flickering flight… / gone when you turn, just out of sight?" the protagonist asks. On each spread, the girl and readers search for fairies and other magical creatures; the girl "sees" the magic but keeps missing the little magicians, which will greatly amuse young readers, who will delight in spotting them. "You might leave an offering, / then you discover, / it's vanished by morning, / replaced with another." Here the girl misses at least three fairies as she gazes at a nest in the middle of a fairy ring. When the girl wonders whether the fairies are out there at all, the fairies finally reply—by placing a floral fairy crown on her head. Wahl's old-time-y, vignette-style illustrations, done in watercolor, colored pencil, and collage, depicting vibrant woodlands evoke classic, Western fairy-tale tropes, and the playful, hand-drawn text reinforces the lightness and sprightliness of the subject matter. Though quite different in subject, Wahl's sophomore effort is just as delightful as her 2015 debut, Sonya's Chickens. Human-shaped fairies display a range of skin tones.This gently magical outing will appeal not only to longtime lovers of European folklore, but also to fans of the popular "fairy door" phenomenon. (Picture book. 4-8)