Frampton, the artist behind the real-life Firefly Forest in the woods of Kansas, brings her vision to readers all over with this book.
Tiny tea sets on toadstools, illuminated fairy cottages that beckon readers in, and glimpses of interiors, all of it dwarfed by real flowers and a frog: Heath’s digital artwork will be the main draw here, the charming details sure to give children ideas for crafting fairy houses, doors, and furniture of their own. Soft focus, golden light, and changes in perspective all lead readers into this world. Fairies are never mentioned; instead, “magical beings” are referenced, and the book alternates between talking about them in the third person and their addressing readers directly: “You’ve not been forgotten, is what they say. / We heard you calling and came right away. / We’re here to help you and happy to stay. // We love you… / We’ll lift you… // You’ll find your way.” Among the fireflies, readers are told, you will find “whatever you need,” and in turn, you need to “Show kindness and love in all that you do.” The text is maddeningly oblique throughout, its generic exhortations and promises practically irrelevant, and Frampton’s rhymes and rhythms are sometimes off, resulting in sometimes-tortured syntax. The target audience of children who believe in this sort of woods magic will be too young to gather much meaning, inspiration, or aid from these verses.
Misses the magic that the Kansas community brought to the original forest. (Picture book. 3-7)