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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Brigitte Minne
Age Range: Under_5
Fairies are sweet and always neat and now and again they wave their magic wands. Rosemary thinks fairies are very dull and boring; the worst of it is, she is a fairy herself. Rosemary would rather be a witch because they are allowed to get dirty and to shout and scream with laughter. Much to the disapproval of her mother Rosemary decides to leave home and go to the witches in the dark wood. Everyone warns her of the danger. It makes no difference. Rosemary is feisty and independent and she knows her own mind. After building herself a treehouse and a boat Rosemary has lots of fun with the witches who aren’t mean to her at all. She enjoys her new life but misses her mum. How can she have the best of both worlds? By becoming a Witchfairy of course!
Belgian author Brigitte Minne’s quirky story, translated by Laura Wilkinson, is about growing up and finding your way in the world. To celebrate his twentieth anniversary as an illustrator, Carll Cneut, one of Flanders’ most celebrated artist, has created stunning new illustrations for this popular picture book, first published in 1999. The artwork is suffused with a palette of reds, pinks and black creating a magical fairy-tale atmosphere. Cneut features images of well-behaved little fairies in different shades of pink dresses at the beginning of the book which then evolve into more dynamic and powerful colours as the fairies try to reason with the wayward fairy. Rosemary cuts a dramatic pink figure among the black of the witches’ wood showing she is an outsider, someone who is different.
Minne’s unusual story combined with Cneut’s masterful artwork creates a story about celebrating difference.