Children’s books – just the overall thought floods me with so many memories. Sitting propped up in bed, or on the library floor, with a book too big to fit in my lap, turning the pages and soaking in each beautifully illustrated page. A few still hold a special place in my heart.
Fairy Foals, the Journey of a Magical Garden, by Suzanah is sure to be such a book. And more. Written in journal entries, it takes us on the mystical journey through the garden Suzanah inherits from her grandmother. The story begins when she receives a small wooden box, thirty-five years after her grandmother’s death. Inside the box is a key to her grandmother’s old guest house and ten acres of gardens she so fondly remembers. She begins to make a life there, and eventually wanders out to the garden with her sketchbook.
While spending time there one morning, looking for something to sketch, she has a sense of being watched. When she returns to the garden it is with a more careful eye, and this time she discovers the magic. Captured in a spider’s web is a tiny brown horse, with wings! As she begins to take an even closer look, she realizes the garden is alive with these mystical creatures. The reader joins her in discovering the uniqueness of each tiny fairy foal – beautiful little creatures that play with butterflies, eat geranium leaves, bask in the sun. Each one is the size of a dandelion flower, constantly on the move and difficult to sketch. As the reader becomes acquainted with Little Brown, Fuzz, Fly, Snowflake, Dancer, Chaser, Pixie, and Sapphire, they also are given a glimpse of the beauty of nature itself – the intricacies of a butterfly’s wing, the art of nest-building, a star-filled night sky, dew drops on leaves that provide an afternoon drink, and leaves dancing in the wind.
The underlying story, of Little Brown’s difficulty keeping up with the other fairy foals, his perseverance and final triumph, will be an encouragement to small children who may struggle to keep up with older siblings or other children they spend time with. Nothing seems to come easily to Little Brown, the underdog / hero of the book, and isn’t it good to root for the underdog, then see him / her achieve what was thought impossible!
If the story was not enough, and it is, the illustrations are truly beautiful – a mixture of pencil drawings, watercolors, some taken right from nature and some from a wonderfully creative mind – they should not only hold a young child’s attention, but better yet they might send them out to the garden, sketchbook in hand, on their own search for fairy foals and the other wonders nature offers to those who will slow down just a bit, for a closer look.
Fairy Foals is a beautiful book suitable for children ages six – nine. I’m holding onto my copy of this for myself reading to my grandchildren, but Sourcebooks has been gracious enough to agree to send out a few copies to the 5 Minutes for Books readers. If you’d like to win, leave a comment. I’ll randomly draw three winners on Friday, August 1, and collect the addresses, then send them off to Sourcebooks, who will mail them directly to your front door.
For all the other open giveaways on our site, click the giveaway category link below.
Bev shares whatever’s on her heart at Scratchin’ the Surface, when she doesn’t have her nose in a book, or isn’t on the phone with someone in her family.
This is the first offering that we are submitting to Melanie/Chilihead’s Bloggy Giveaways carnival. It starts July 28 at 8:00am CST, so if you want to participate on your own blog (or just try to win lots of stuff), check out the guidelines HERE.
Yes, I said first. We have a humorous novel for adults coming up, and we’ll bless some booklover with one big bundle of new books.