In the Forest Fey (Hardback)

Authors: Vanessa-Gaye and Kerry-Gaye Schiff
Ebury Press
RRP: 16.99
ISBN 009191073 0
Available 07 September 2006

Do fairies exist or are they figments of the imagination? This book, a playful mixture of 'reality' and fantasy, will charm even the most sceptical of readers...

While photographing a broken-down cottage in a shady forest, architect Cathryn Thomlinson stumbles upon a seventeenth-century manuscript hidden under the crumbling floorboards. Intrigued by the references to 'fairies', Cathryn eagerly deciphers the text, but finds it to be the ramblings of an old woman, Good Dame Kellerman, who claimed to have discovered a fairy realm within the forest.

But when Cathryn's film is developed, she is astonished to see small creatures with sprouting wings, glancing mischievously at her from the photographs.

In the Forest Fey presents us with Kellerman's extraordinary journal, illustrated with ethereal photos of the fairies, documenting the history and everyday lives of the beautiful beings that, unbeknownst to humans, inhabit our world alongside us. This remarkable series of tales begins with the creation of the fairies and their realm, and follows the escapades of individual fairies and the clans to which they belong. This unique book evokes a world of romance, innocence and heroism, where tales of immortal beings sit alongside stunning, dreamlike images of the fairies in their forest.

Obviously inspired by the 1917 Cottingley fairies photographs, In the Forest Fey is a bit of a strange release. I wasn't sure which idea had come first - the taking of pictures of models doctored to look like fairies, or Kellerman's journal.

The scale is also all over the place on the photos. But, as a rule, most of the fairies appear to be human sized. So, I can quite honestly state that the male models look like big fairies... because they are. To be honest the fairy pictures all started to get a bit too cutesy-poos a little too quickly. And I soon found myself wishing that there were other images as well to add a little more diversity.

This is really going to be of interest to young girls who are big fairy tale fans. It's not really the sort of book I can imagine capturing the imagination of many adults - but would make a great bedtime storybook for your children.

So, not a bad book by any stretch of the imagination, just one with a very narrow target audience - who will love this.

Amber Leigh

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