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)