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Elves, Pixies and other Fairy Folk

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Showing 1-25 of 35 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Apr 2013, 12:11:42 BST
Are younger children between the approximate ages of 4-7 still interested in the type of stories about magic spells, fairies, brownies, mischievous elves, naughty pixies and the like? These stories were popular when my own children were that age? I ask as, apart from Enid Blyton, there does not appear to be many, if any, new books of that nature around these days.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Apr 2013, 17:07:59 BST
Madeleine says:
Our Key Stage 1 (age 5 -7) topic is fairies, elves, enchanted forests etc this half term. They are utterly enthralled. We wondered whether they would not believe in the magic or whether the boys would be less keen. Not the case at all. They have been writing letters to the fairies, making things to help them fight the goblins and finding things they think the fairies have left - entirely of their own doing. We put a fairy door on a tree to start them off, but they are developing their own ideas and inventing their own stories. Sometimes we think our children have become more sophisticated and are growing up too quickly. Not at all in my experience!

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Apr 2013, 17:58:29 BST
You have been very enlightening, thank you. I was beginning to think that young children were above this kind of thing and preferred the blood and thunder shown on the TV. It is good to know that there are some children who still prefer the magical joys of Fairyland - and childhood! Just need to find the books now, preferably with 'proper' illustrations rather than the modern concept of drawing fairyfolk. I have noticed that the Blyton books in some cases have the modern type of illustrations now rather than the original ones. These to me take away some of the magic of the stories. Thank you again for your reply.

Posted on 17 Apr 2013, 14:20:28 BST
J. Douglas says:
My own two children, aged 9 and 6, adore the enchanted wood stories, also the wishing chair series, and have done since they were about 4! My 9 year old has moved onto more sophisticated, ''grown up'' stories within the fantasy genre, such as the Harry Potter books and Gregor the Overlander. My 6 year old daughter loves the Enid Blyton stories and we would love any suggestions for more fantasy type stories suitable for her age group. I also teach, Year 2 at the minute, and they all love enchanted wood etc! So I'd say that children of today love fairy folk as much as they ever did!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013, 16:49:29 BST
Thank you for replying to my question. It's beginning to sound as though there are lots of children out there who like tales of Fairyland. In which case perhaps the publishers of children's books should revise their opinions. There seems to be quite a number of publishers who believe that fairy stories are 'old-fashioned', that there is no call at the present time for that type of fairy story, which is probably why such books are hard to find. Should I be successful in tracking down similar books with what I call 'proper' illustrations, I will be happy to mention them in this discussion. Meanwhile I hope that publishers will take note.

Posted on 17 Apr 2013, 19:36:04 BST
chiefprune says:
Kevin Crossley Holland has written some very good folk tales - with local magic, pixies, bogles and the like. My daughter (6) loves them - particularly the audio cassettes!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Apr 2013, 23:00:53 BST
Thank you for this information, I do appreciate it. I will certainly be looking at them.

Posted on 18 Apr 2013, 09:27:51 BST
Miss Jones says:
There are also some great folk tales by Alan Garner and the Carnegie winning The Little Grey Men has the original illustrations. Don't forget the wonderful Chronicles of Prydain, that start with The Book of Three (Chronicles of Prydain) by Lloyd Alexander.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Apr 2013, 11:05:50 BST
Thank you for the titles of more books to add to my list. I believe there will be more people out there who will appreciate these additions, too.

Posted on 19 Apr 2013, 18:21:31 BST
Just to add, I recently read a book with my daughter called 'Princess Alegna and the light from the Yonderland'. I'd definitely recommend this one to anyone who still loves fairly stories. We laughed, worried and looked forward to the next chapter together each day... We haven't had that much fun together reading a book in ages. Hope that helps!

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Apr 2013, 10:06:27 BST
An elf book with a moral.' Sarah Sunshine and the elves' is an enchanting read , my grandchildren love it.

Posted on 21 Apr 2013, 16:08:09 BST
Broxi3781 says:
Yorkshire Rose:
I assume you are trying to get a faerie story published. Publishers want best sellers, and sadly faerie books won't usually make it - although there is a huge market with older readers for paranormal romance - including faeries. there are certainly some young children who would love a lavishly illustrated faerie story though, all the more so if hidden pictures are incorporated - and sometimes there is market for niche books. After all many of enjoy reading something different.

The problem is there are millions people trying to get a book out. Since the advent of self publishing almost everyone is an author. Fairy stories are quite popular with writers, so although some children do still enjoy them, there are more writers for this genre than readers I believe. Think carefully what does your book have that is different? A different illustration style can make all the difference - as can unusual features like hidden objects, textures to feel, writing for certain reading levels etc... Many people have an interest in the more traditional fairy as well as in the warriors of the sidhe. Faeries weren't always frilly little things - a more traditional tale might draw a different audience. Finally ABC books are the big thing now, and surprisingly I understand some adults collect them as well. A mythical ABC might do quite well if the illustrations were of a quality that adults would appreciate as well.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2013, 10:12:52 BST
This sounds a fun book and I look forward to reading it. Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2013, 10:14:45 BST
I've never heard of this one, but like your description of an 'enchanting' read. Look forward to reading it. Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2013, 11:13:30 BST
I haven't yet tried to get a book of fairy stories published, but that was my intention in the long run. I have had other, non-fairy, tales and articles published by various annuals in the past, and I felt that possibly reading lots of the present day children's stories would give me an insight into the type children like to read these days.
I do know from their guidelines that many UK publishers are not interested in this genre, yet from the children I know, together with the replies generated in this discussion so far, there still seems to be many children out there who enjoy this type.
I do realise that there is a tremendous amount of self-publishing goes on these days, and as you say, there are possibly more authors than readers. Do I gather that you are a fellow writer? You have been most helpful with your comments and your hints and tips, and I certainly appreciate and will use them.
Thank you for being so enlightening.

Posted on 22 Apr 2013, 19:04:28 BST
Broxi3781 says:
I wite book reviews, and have written the odd article. I do not write childrens books simply because I feel the stories created for my own children would not appeal to enough other children - and if they did they would not be considered suitable for children as my sons like stories of dinosaurs armed with heavy weapons.

But I do read an incredible amount of books, at the moment roughly one new childrens book a day, and my home educated sons go through vast amounts of books as well. I also have a bit of an obsession with children's literacy, so pretty well versed on this. Where I live, the odds of a boy leaving school fully literate are just one in four. The research has been done over and over again, and I have taught a few children to read. We know what works, but sadly keep going for what does not work, just in larger doses.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2013, 23:05:35 BST
I find it quite incredible when you state that only 25% of boys leave school fully literate in your area. It is a great pity. I am not surprised that your sons are home educated. There is still much to be said for the more 'old-fashioned' teaching methods, as not many, if any children, left school unable to read and write properly years ago. Perhaps it is now time to say 'off with the new and back to the old!'
Thank you for your most interesting reply.

Posted on 12 Jul 2013, 22:10:18 BST
[Deleted by Amazon on 17 Jul 2013, 11:54:05 BST]

Posted on 13 Jul 2013, 14:09:32 BST
A. B. Syed says:
I hope my daughter does not read this message :)

But up until a couple of years ago, I was constantly finding little letters all over the place to the tooth fairy, the different sunshine type fairies etc. It was so endearing to find them hidden all over the place.

My little boy definitely tells me he is not into fairies, but does enjoy the Enid Blyton books which are full of pixies and brownies and elves as you know.

So, yes, even these days, I do think that little children are still excited by these things :)

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jul 2013, 14:36:02 BST
There are authors who like to write those sort of things nowadays

Posted on 14 Jul 2013, 21:47:49 BST
Broxi3781 says:
I'm not sure it if is appropriate to mention this here, as my comment seems better suited to an authors thread, but there are a few publishing companies that do like unusual. Nosy Crow and Flying Eye spring to mind immediately. If you can get even a single page illustrated it might help your chances, but a fairy story is going to have to sell on illustration. There is scope for incredible illustration though. I'd like something like beautiful woodland scenes with some fairies and animals hidden within the artwork, or clear transparency pages of foliage and flora which lifts to see the faeries underneath. Little girls might like sparkles. You might have a better idea altogether.

If you intend to self publish, keep in mind you may very well never recover your printing costs, but it's still worth tacking another £100 onto the expenses and paying for a review ( which may be good or bad - no guarantees) and advertising package + giving a few books to bloggers etc...

Just bear in mind this is tough market and it will have to be something really unusual to get anywhere. But some girls do love faeries. Think of Tinkerbell.

Personally I'd love to see the old stories like Tam lin recreated for children too, but that doesn't mean they would sell. I've an odd interest in keeping the folk tales and such still alive.

Posted on 15 Jul 2013, 14:24:07 BST
BM says:
Also no one has mentioned the Rainbow Fairy books. High literature they are not - they are extremely formulaic and rather tiresome to read as an adult. However there are more than a hundred of them and I do credit them with making my daughter into a prolific reader as she couldn't get enough of them aged 4 and 5. And she adored the fairy nature of them....

Posted on 15 Jul 2013, 16:38:55 BST
A. B. Syed says:
Yes, I have worked my way through that particular journey myself :)

Although my little one did work out that the story was going to be practically the same each time and so we did not have to go through so many.

But, credit where it is due, they gave us a nice way to round off the day.

Posted on 16 Jul 2013, 14:15:22 BST
Last edited by the author on 16 Jul 2013, 14:21:51 BST
maggie says:
I loved 'Jennifer and The Flower Fairies' when I was a child (in fact still have it). The Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast, as well as 'The Peacock's Party' are books my daughter loved. If you can find some good second hand ones they are well worth reading.

Posted on 16 Jul 2013, 23:18:06 BST
[Deleted by the author on 28 Jul 2013, 09:48:22 BST]
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