What a delight to loll on my couch on a Saturday afternoon, iPad mini in hand and be transported into the world of all things faerie. Just like Scarlett, I was whisked away in a blaze of faerie light into the marvellous realms of make-believe. And most content to stay there; I read this enchanting ebook in one sitting, not wanting to put it down until the final finger swipe. Gordon Thompson’s adroit craft comes to the fore in the creation of the enchanting ‘Coastland’ microcosm of faeries, dwarves, elves and three children as he spins these refreshingly whimsical tales. Anne Galbraith’s striking watercolour illustrations underscore both the gentleness and winsomeness of the text.
Scarlett is visited by Emerald, Acacia and Wystie, faeries who convince her to leave her ordinary world for a series of mini adventures in their Coastland home. There, Scarlett Bell from Thornbury meets up with the characters that populate the kingdom along with two other children who are visiting their faerie friends. The faeries are keen to enjoy Scarlett’s company – she learns to fly with her new faerie wings and to avoid the tricks of the naughty Mischievites – but they also need her help. For instance when the story-teller faeries come down with colds and sore throats in the deep winter of Coastland; the characters from the books she brings from home, in a moment of magical playfulness, when Scarlett is unsure she can read all the words, step out of the book and act their parts. On another occasion, Scarlett’s wisdom is needed when a dragon comes to the Coastland and sets fire to half the hillside and Scarlett’s ingenious ideas prove a boon in more ways than one.
The voice in these captivating stories is pert and waggish; some of the humour perhaps aimed at the more knowing child or adult who might be reading the stories out. (When, for example, the members of Scarlett’s ABBA CD morph into two bearded trolls and two lute and skin drum-toting elf-maidens; the song lyric adaptation is priceless!)
Scarlett and the Winter Faeries is warm-hearted, witty and fun; a celebration of imagination.
Clouds of Magellan, 2013
ISBN 0987403753, 9780987403759