Author: Brigitte Minne | Publisher: Book Island
Rosemary is bored of being a fairy. She’d much rather be a witch. Much to the disapproval of her mother she takes off to spend time with the witches in the dark wood. Rosemary thoroughly enjoys her new life as a witch but eventually decides to take the best of both worlds and becomes a witchfairy.
I found Witchfairy in a quaint little toyshop in Covent Garden yesterday, and it is, simply put, the most beautifully illustrated children’s book I’ve seen in a long time. Absolutely breathtaking. I couldn’t help myself – I had to buy it!
Translated from Flemish very thoughtfully, retaining the emphasis on language children will love, the story is as captivating as the illustrations. It’s a story about being brave enough to be yourself, when the world is telling you to be something else, and trust that the people who love you will eventually come to understand. It was about the struggle to be yourself in a world that’s telling you to conform. Who can’t relate to that? And what a wonderful message for children. It was touching, entertaining – just lovely.
Witchfairy is a children’s fairy story, so the characters don’t have a great deal of story arc or depth – and yet, I found myself strangely attached to Rosemary and her mother. I empathised. It was very well done, and I can imagine children adoring these strange little fairies and rather mischievous witches.
The settings were, as befits a fairytale, magical. Witchfairy has suitably witchy woods, and a suitably fairy-like castle on a hill… I found my imagination captured by the brief descriptions, tantalised by the illustrations. This is a world I want to visit again, which I found myself wanting to wander through at my leisure.