Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In the Land of Fairies - Daniela Drescher

Title: In the Land of Fairies (Komm mit ins Elfenland)
Author: Daniela Drescher
Country: Germany
Year: 2004
Rating: A

Now that I have begun to re-familiarize myself with children's literature and picture books, these types of reviews will probably pop up more frequently.

I first discovered In The Land of Fairies on a day trip to the small town of St Michael's, on the Eastern Shore in Maryland. Nestled amongst touristy boutiques and ice cream shops is The Faerie Glen, owned by proprietress E. Aspiras, and her tiny shop is a sight to behold. I was instantly drawn to the collection of books she sold, many of which I had never heard of, with this book nestled amongst them.

A few weeks later, I came across the books of Daniela Drescher once more, while perusing Three Sisters Toys, a website filled with natural toys and Waldorf style toys. The Waldorf philosophy on play and learning for young children not only focuses on creative, spontaneous, and voluntary imaginative play, but is also known for it's emphasis on the changing of the seasons and our relationship with nature. Daniela Drescher's books are a perfect addition to the library of a Waldorf parent, but are equally suitable for any children's library.

In The Land of Fairies was first published in Germany as Komm mit ins Elfenland. It was translated into English in 2004. The story is worth reading for the illustrations alone, which are breathtaking. In the story, we follow the fairies and animals of the forest through the changing of the seasons.

Short on words, the focus of the novel relies heavily on the illustrations. However, the small story line is just as enchanting. We see the forest from the fox's perspective in spring, 'The cautious fox hears every sound, By night and day, Creeping with care across the ground'; watch as fairies gently push the forest towards summer, 'Midsummer time, a magic night, So full of life, Now fairies dress the woods with light.'; and nature's preparations for winter, 'Among the tree-roots, down below, Nuts, berries, grain are safely kept beneath the snow.'

I absolutely love this book, along with her other stories In the Land of Merfolk, and In the Land of Elves. Maya gets a daily dose of the story each day, and it is a delight to read out loud (less than 3 months to go until I can read to her while looking at her charming little face!).

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