My granddaughter LOVES fairies! Well, up until about a few weeks ago she did. I can see the mystique waning a little bit, as she just turned 8 years old, and that just breaks my heart a little, but I understand and I of course have been through this with my children as they left one stage of life and entered another.
When Lilly was younger, she and I walked in the woods a lot, and she would say, “Grandmama, do you hear that? That’s a fairy! She’s flying and singing!” I’d say “Yes, honey, I do hear it! I wonder where she’s going.” And then she’d make up an entire story about enchanted forests and Easter Fairies, and those who killed animals couldn’t see fairies because they weren’t believers. As we crunched through the Fall leaves, we saw that someone had put a tiny toy house beside an old tree stump, a little bit hidden from the trail. Lilly’s face lit up like a star, and she said she just knew we had found the Fairy Village. My girl has quite the imagination!
When I told her I retired from my practice to write a book, she said, “Oh, grandmama! We should write a book together!” I agreed, clapping my hands, like I do with her, a lot I might add. She gets me excited about a lot of things.
That was a year ago and our book, The Fairy Berries, is finished, save the artwork. She named the book and gave me the main characters, the fairies. Initially, she had a Chef Witch capturing and eating fairies and I didn’t know where to go with that so I changed it up a little; I kept the witches and fairies, added a cute little weasel named Wally but left out the dining on fairies part.
My first read to Lilly, I was nervous. I thought, “If she doesn’t like this, I’ve got to start over. She’s the only one that matters to me! If I get it past her, this book will be published someday.” I wanted her to like it so much! And she did. She helped me with the editing, taking out unnecessary words. For example, when I wrote, “so very fast” she said, “Just write ‘fast’.” Huh, a seven year old. I highly recommend if you’re writing a book, have a young child edit it before you send it out to your publisher.
The best compliment she gave me was when she said, “This doesn’t sound like the first book you’ve written. It sounds like the 20th.” 🙂
I think the story is fun to read to children and fun for kids to hear and they don’t realize they’re learning about friendship, love, forgiveness, healthy boundaries, and self-esteem.