I’m looking for a book about… elves and fairies

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Welcome to “I’m looking for a book about….”, the inaugural topic-themed monthly carnival of children’s literature.

Every month I’ll be encouraging anyone who likes to review books for children (of any age) to leave links to their reviews of books that match the given month’s theme. The idea is that over time, this carnival will become a resource for parents, teachers, carers, librarians looking for books by subject.

Old reviews, new reviews, and reviews for any age are welcome. You may also submit multiple reviews, as long as they are all relevant to this month’s theme.

And this month’s theme is….

Elves and Fairies

Some of my favourite books on this theme include:


  • The Elves’ Big Adventure by Daniela Drescher, with a round up of reviews here at Little Acorn Books.


  • The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs by William Joyce, reviewed here by Donna at 32 pages.


  • The Faerie’s Gift by Tanya Robyn Batt, illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli, reviewed here by The Well-Read Child.


  • Stella, Fairy of the Forest by Marie-Louise Gay, reviewed here at Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Reviews.


  • The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz, reviewed here by the Book Aunt.


  • The Dreamtime Fairies by Jane Simmons, reviewed here at Kirkus Reviews.


  • Damyanti at Overdue Books shares her fondness for the Shoemaker and the Elves and how that links to Sally Gardner’s The Real Fairy Storybook.


  • Jennifer at Jean Little Library shows that fairies are not just for picture books with a review of the lovely sounding Small Persons with Wings by Ellen Booraem


  • Ali has a review of Michelle Harrison’s The Thirteen Treasures, another fairy book for older children.


  • Polly has written a great round up of fairy books that might be described as classics – including ‘The Princess and The Goblins’ and ‘The Princess and Curdie’ by George Macdonald


  • For a review of Racketty Packetty House (“Toy Story meets Downton Abbey” with lots of fairies) by Frances Hodgson Burnett, head on over to Polly’s second post at The Little Wooden Horse.


  • Polly at The Little Wooden Horse has one more contribution to this month’s carnival with a post about the fairies in various Enid Blyton books and also ‘Flax the Feral Fairy’ by Tiffany Mandrake


  • Fats at Gathering Books introduces us to Catherynne M. Valente’s The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, a book Fats recommends to 10-14 year olds who like a touch of Neverland and Wonderland mixed together.


  • Myra at Gathering Books has a review of The Mystery of the Fool and The Vanisher by David and Ruth Ellwand. Myra writes, “The book leaves you with a great many questions, one of those few rare finds that would leave you with goosebumps even after you have finished reading it” – doesn’t that sound wonderful?


  • Over at Child Led Chaos there is a great round up of a series of Goblins’ books by David Melling. I particularly like the sound of how the Goblins’ series has a focus on encouraging the child reader to become a storyteller herself.


  • Kim at Dead Houseplants (I love her blog name!) has a review of Brigitta of the White Forest by Danika Dinsmore, which sounds both sparkly and exciting.


  • Over at Jen Robinson’s Book Page you can find a review of Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer by Laini Taylor. which she describes as having “a lot to offer, and receives my highest recommendation.” I’m definitely going to look out for it!


  • Janelle at Brimful Curiosities has a review of A Fairy Went A-Marketing,” a poem by Rose Fyleman, illustrated by Jamichael Henterly. Whilst the book sounds interesting, you should definitely click through to see the fairy book Janelle and her kids made.


  • Janelle’s second contribution to this month’s carnival introduces us to a slim volume of poems titled Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Fairy Poems compiled by Stephen W. Hines and illustrated by Richard Hull . I never new Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote any poetry, so I shall definitely be checking this out.


  • Caroline, who blogs at Learning Parade, has a review of The Elf’s Hat by Brigette Weninger. She’s also created an activity sheet to go along with the book, “a super story to use as a stimulus for a small world play set!”


  • The Fairyland Olympics is reviewed by Yvonne at ‘Babbleabout’ children’s books, learning and play. “A lovely, enchanting book, perfect for this year of the London Olympics 2012.”


  • Yvonne has a second review – The Demon’s Watch by Conrad Mason, which she describes as fast-moving adventure of pirates, magic and improbable heroes, perfect for ages 9+.


  • Mélanie has a review of Reckless by Cornelia Funke, over at the online children’s book magazine Armadillo. “A superbly crafted book from a master storyteller”.


  • Se7en has an amazing round up of fairy goodness – books and crafts galore, including Betty Bib’s fieldguides to fairys and the gorgeous Flower Fairies.


  • Mary at Books YA Love has a review of Enchanted by Alethea Kontis. “This bright-and-dark story about family, loyalty, and love in an Enchanted land reminds us that even the simplest fairy tales and nursery rhymes can carry the power of mighty words.”


  • A selection of childhood favourites with a fairy theme can be found over at Natasha’s blog. She was also inspired to make the most amazing fairy toadstool cakes!


  • The Teeny Weeny Walking Stick by Karen Hodgson, illustrated by Sally Anne Lambert is also reviews by Natasha. One of the things which makes this book special is it is a book about fairies with a little boy as the central protagonist.


  • Please leave links to your reviews using the linky below. If you have included an image of the the book cover in your book review please use that for the image associated with your link below. I will also be adding your links to the main body of the text during the day (I’m trying both methods this month to see what works best).

    So now we’ve creating / are creating a great little list about books on the theme of elves and fairies, what if you want to do some elves and fairies projects and crafts? Then head on over to Red Ted Art, where Maggy has been curating a round up of just such activities. You might also wish to check out The Fairy Garden contest being held over at The Magic Onions…

    And if books and crafts were not enough, please do come back tomorrow for a wonderful guest post by none other than the wonderful author/illustrator Clara Vulliamy, all about inspiring story-telling in kids, linked to this month’s I’m looking for a book about…” carnival.



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    16 Responses

    1. […] books to share with your children. So,  hop over and check out all her fantastic books in her Fairy and Elves book round […]

    2. Oooh what a wonderful round up of books. It amazes me of how many books you know!!! You always have something special. This will be a great resource for my little girl! Can’t wait to see Clara’s Guest Post!

      Maggy
      maggy, red ted art recently posted..Elves and Fairies – Midsummer Celebration Round Up

    3. My problem with fairies (and I emphasise that it’s my problem, not that of the fairies themselves) is that they’ve been tainted in recent years by association with rainbow fairy magic saccharine vomit-inducing pink stuff. So now when I think fairies the first words that spring to mind are ‘Glitter!’ ‘Sparkle!’ ‘Inanity!’. Which is a great shame, as of course traditionally fairies have been made of much darker things. Maybe we need to start a movement to reclaim for fairies their proper place (although why, with their magic, they can’t do that themselves is beyond me. Honestly, fairies these days…). I’m posting a poem tomorrow featuring fairies, if anyone’s interested.
      Elli recently posted..Wriggling

    4. I agree completely Elli- think it’s a twentieth century phenomenon. They were much darker creatures once upon a time and now I want some nice academic/historical analysis of fairies through time/different cultures. Can anyone help?
      Zoe, so many different link ups from me- apologies- and promise that’s the end of them!
      Polly recently posted..Mustering Fairies- Part 3 Blyton and beyond

    5. Hi Zoe, I realized after I am now looking into our archives – that we haven’t really done much by way of elves and fairies (surprise, surprise) – by that I mean highlighting exclusively narratives about elves and fairies, but I think I’d be able to find two or three that I could share with you here. :)
      Myra from GatheringBooks recently posted..March AWB Reviews

    6. I added one of our favorites, A Fairy Went A-Marketing. The post is from our archives but it’s a book that we decided to purchase after reading the library copy. The illustrations are enchanting. This fairy is not at all dark and not all that glittery–instead she’s helpful and caring. Amazingly enough the book is based on a poem by Rose Fyleman from around 1920, maybe 1918. I hope to post about another of our favorite fairy books later in the week.

    7. A bunch of great books about elves ,fairies , leprechaun and so on have been written and magically illustrated by Pierre Dubois the “elficologue” from Brittany (a famous land for legends about small world people). I have just checked on amazon that some of his most recent books are available in their english translation including
      “The Complete Encyclopedia of Elves, Goblins, And Other Little Creatures” or “The Great Encyclopedia of Faeries”. Texts are full of wit and erudition and Illustrations are sublim and do not constrain but rather feed imagination.
      Maybe out of subject but I can not resist.. “Nononba” from Shigeru Mizuki (also available in english, the book written in the 50’s has won the greatest prise in the comics books festival in Angouleme a few years ago). The bokk is composed of short stories that all include “Yokais” ( japanese night creatures which can be either nice or mean) in a rural neighbourhood in post-war japan. Also the story of the deep relationship between a boy and his grandmother who taughts him everything about yokais (sometimes purposely such as the story of the dirty laundry’s Yokai)

    8. choxbox

      Lovely round-up!

      Happy to see a book I picked up at a used books shop – The Elf’s Hat! And agree about Laura Ingalls Wilder – did not know she wrote poetry.

    9. Thank you everyone for your comments yesterday – so sorry not to reply straight away. Yes, fairies indeed have been very different over time/across cultures – Polly, I’ve tweeted to see if anyone can make a book suggestion that might fit your bill.
      Zoe recently posted..A World Exclusive! A mini illustrated book for inspiring young story tellers, by Clara Vulliamy

    10. Zoe,

      This is wonderful. What a great resource for people looking for a particular type of book.
      Alex Baugh recently posted..Henderson’s Boys: The Escape by Robert Muchamore

    11. What a great collection of books! I agree, Elli and Polly, fairies have become “Disneyfied” in recent years. There are some great books for slightly older readers with more dangerous fairies- Michelle Harrison’s Thirteen Treasures trilogy being good examples. I also love Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series, which he has dubbed Die Hard with fairies.
      Ali B recently posted..Diversity in fantasy fiction 2: Huntress by Malinda Lo

    12. Such a wonderfully glorious collection! And I couldn’t agree with Elli more… all I think about are those darn Rainbow Magic Fairies and I get nearly sick. I volunteer in our school library when my daughter’s kindergarten class is there and the girls just clamor to get their hands on the Rainbow Magic Fairies… I can’t wait to get this list to our librarian. Hopefully, she will be able to direct the girl to some of these instead!

    13. Helen D

      Love this new feature, looking forward to the months ahead too.

    14. […] a little preoccupied with work recently!). Once a month Zoe will post on a specific topic in her “I’m looking for a book about…” series and invite other bloggers to contribute a link to a blog post with reviews or references to […]

    15. Hi, Zoe! Have linked to a recent review of mine. Do take a look.

      Picked up two books by Laura Amy Schlitz’s book recently, but haven’t yet got round to reading them. Looking forward to them, especially after your recommendation.
      sandhya recently posted..Maurice Sendak and Leo Dillon : a tribute

    16. wow–what a great resource! I’ve found so many to put on our to read list! :)

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