Invitation to Imagination: Fairy Gardens

Fairy-House-1Fairies seem to capture the imaginations of children–and those who are children at heart.  Most of us grew up at least hearing stories about fairies in folk tales, or heard references to Fairyland in literature, or tales about fairies and their special powers.  Kids are captivated by the magical world where fairies live–and the possibilities of glimpsing or maybe befriending a real fairy.  Fairy houses and fairy gardens are wonderful ways to play, invent, and imagine.  We created our own version of a fairy garden in the backyard this summer and had such a wonderful adventure.  Our first step was to seek out books to enrich the experience.  The following two books became our go-to reads.  We’d love to hear your suggestions for favorite fairy picture books–and your stories of creating fairy houses and gardens.

fairiesA Book of Fairies by Patricia Saxton

Patricia Saxton invites us to step through the invisible veil that separates “our world” from the magical world where fairies live.  Her lush and detailed illustrations show the range of tiny beings who balance on marbles, sit atop mushrooms, swing from tiny branches, and disguise themselves as butterflies or dragonflies.  We also learn about what fairies love most, how they celebrate, how they use fairy dust, and some of the intricacies of fairy language.  We took her advice on how to please a fairy by leaving them buttons and colorful fabric, tiny bits of fruit and chocolate, and creating pictures and stories to place in the fairy garden for them.  A delightful book for all ages!

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Fairy-HouseFairy Houses by Tracy Kane

Kristin is on vacation with her family on the coast of Maine.  Her parents have a surprise for her–they take her for a walk and show her the natural fairy houses that people had built for their local fairies to live in!  Kristin learns to “follow the rules of the woods” to build her fairy house, but its first inhabitants are visitors from the woods, like the cricket, a pair of finches, a frog, and a squirrel.  As Kristin continues to add new elements to her houses, she learns more about the very real inhabitants of the woods.  On the last day, she is greeted by a bright beam of light and the tiny smiling face of a real fairy, thanking her for treating the woods with care and respect.  This lovely book is the first in The Fairy House Series.  Visit their website for more information and updates!

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