Wanted: Beautiful Fairy Picture Books

Elizabeth Bluemle -- August 5th, 2014

Flower Fairies Magical Doors: Discover the Doors to Fairyopolis by Cicely Mary Barker (Frederick Warne & Co)

I was working in the back room when the voice of Flying Pig bookseller Sandy floated in from the front desk. “You know what’s hard to find that you’d think there would be a lot of?” she asked.  “Beautiful fairy storybooks, the kind I would have loved and lost myself in as a child.”

You’d think this would be a flooded field, but actually, most of the gorgeous fairy picture books we used to carry have now gone out of print.

There are some perennial fairy favorites, of course. Night Fairy is lovely, but it’s a chapter book intended for slightly older readers. The fairy books by Tracy Kane (Fairy Houses, etc.are terrific but feature structures more than fairies. The Cicely Mary Barker Flower Fairies books (especially the original ones) are so beautiful — but aren’t storybooks, as is also the case with David Ellwand’s glorious Fairie-ality, and a whole slew of fairy sticker and activity books. Where are the fairy adventures?

There have been fairy books with oddly creepy illustrations, and fairy stories that are charming and cute (Bob Graham’s April and Esme Tooth Fairies). There are lots of chapter books about fairies—hello, Daisy Meadows; hello, Disney—but it’s hard to find magical picture books with actual stories about fairies featuring the kinds of illustrations that enchant little kids and invite elaborate daydreams.

Are there fairy stories we aren’t thinking of? Publishing folks, are there any on your upcoming lists?