When two English girls photograph fairies near their home in Cottingley, Yorkshire, it causes quite a stir in 1919.
Narrator Frances and her cousin Elsie spend most of their free time in the forest, swimming in the stream, climbing trees, napping, and playing with woodland creatures. Hoping adults will “see what we see,” the girls photograph themselves with fairies, enhancing the photos with “imagination, pencils, paper, and scissors.” Surprisingly, many adults take notice, including famous author Arthur Conan Doyle, whose writings “defending the authenticity” of the photos bring people from all over to Cottingley’s woods looking for the fairies. But when no one can see the fairies, Frances and Elsie confess “part of the truth,” about the “scissors and paper,” and the visitors depart, believing all’s a hoax. But is it? Whimsical pencil illustrations, rendered in simple lines, patterns, and a somber palette of grays, blues, and tans, transport the enigmatic text to the fringe of fairyland. Cryptic scenes of the cousins reveal them from arresting perspectives as they frolic in the forest, photographing the mischievous fairies and spying on invading adults. All the humans depicted are white. Based on history, Frances’ first-person narration will leave readers wondering what really happened.
Imported from Spain, an intriguing, enchantingly rendered real fairy tale. (note) (Picture book. 4-8)