Where The Fairies Fly by Jane Simmons
Where The Fairies Fly tells the story of Lucy and her little brother Jamie. Lucy loves to tell stories, particularly to her bear at bedtime. But Jamie hates bedtime and struggles to fall asleep. Using the toys and furniture in their bedroom as inspiration, Lucy takes Jamie on an adventure, in search of the Dreamtime Fairies. Along the way they bump into some familiar characters who offer their own suggestions on how Jamie might find his way to the land of nod. However, Jamie dismisses every suggestion and their quest continues. Overcoming his fear of the dark night time shadows they eventually meet The Dreamtime Fairies and fall blissfully into slumber.
~What My daughter and I Think~
This book was given to my Daughter as a birthday gift from her Nursery, 2 years ago. It instantly became a favourite, especially as my daughter shares the name of the lead character Lucy.
The book is 30 pages long, with some pages having only one sentence, and others having a few. The pages are quite large and good quality paper, coated in the plasticy substance often found in children's picture books, which increases it's durability.
I really like the writing style of this book. It's a mix of short snappy sentences and longer descriptive ones. This enables me to read it in an atmospheric and interesting way, easily getting into the characterisation. Of course this means it's all the more interesting for my daughter to listen too.
The story is well written, and engaging to a small child. Lucy isn't off in some fantasy land, rather using her imagination of things around her to inspire the adventure. I think this book would appeal to and encourage imaginative play and story telling. Although the book is about Lucy and her story of the Dreamtime Fairies, Jamie is a strong feature in the book too, and I believe this would appeal to both boy's and girls. Jamie also has a frequent catchphrase which children will enjoy joining in with, and eventually anticipate it coming.
I do think this story is more suited to being read to a toddler/preschooler as a perfect bedtime story, rather than a book to practice reading on. The text is quite small and does use 'a' rather than the traditional way of writing the letter that children are taught at school. My daughter also picked up on the fact that some of the letter's 'don't have tail's' (pedantic little Miss she is). However that's just a small niggle, what really convinces me that this is a book to be read to rather than to read alone is the huge opportunity for characterisation from an adult / storyteller.
Of course what really brings a book like this alive for a toddler or preschooler are the illustrations, and this book certainly doesn't disappoint. Also illustrated by the Author Jane Simmons, It is filled on every page with beautiful, dreamy pictures, that look as if they might have originally been drawn in chalk (although I'm not an artist so may be wrong!). She uses colour and shading wonderfully to create gorgeous, shimmery images.
My daughter still loves this book 18 month on, and often requests it as a bedtime tale. I think possibly that it's gentleness that attracts her at this time, she doesn't get over stimulated by it and she doesn't get bored and start fidgeting. In Fact I would go as far to say that it does indeed settle her down for a good night's sleep.
We both recommend it highly.
Where The Dream Fairies Fly by Jane Simmons
Printed by Orchard Books
Where the Fairies Fly by Jane Simmons
Written by the creator of the bestselling Daisy books, this is a book which was always going to be popular with Little Miss.
The story centres around Lucy, who, we discover, loves to tell stories, and her younger brother Jamie. Lucy tells all kinds of stories; deep blue sea stories, flying high stories and magic stories. Lucy loves to lie in bed with Bear and tell him stories, but poor Jamie hated bedtime.
When Lucy realises that Jamie cant sleep, she tells him that Bear cant sleep either, so they will all have to go and find the Bedtime fairies. From the first reading of this story, and as soon as these fairies are mentioned, we realise that we are going on a magical adventure, which indeed we are
Lucy, Tom, bear and Floppy Rabbit travel far away to the place where the fairies fly. When they land on a turtle and explain what they want to do, he tells them that the dreamtime Fairies are very hard to find. However, after lying in the sun for a while, they all decide to go and find the fairies together.
Along the way, they find a tiger and a fox. They all hold hands and set off into the shadows. When they hear something in the shadows, they stand still and then we see them, tiny little golden figures glowing amongst the leaves Fairies!
The fairies are soon fluttering around them, and the shadowy places are lit by glowing fairies and are no longer shadowy places.
When Lucy, Jamie and their friends fall into a pile of leaves and the fairies work their Dreamtime Magic, one by one, they all fall asleep, and into the magic of sweet dreams.
~~Illustrations and text~~
I like the format of this text, because it is in a bold, easy to read font. The writing is in no specific place on the page, but rather, it follows the theme of the story, and seems to float around the pages, with nothing formal about it.
The illustrations usually take the form of full page double page spread. They are very dream like in quality with no harsh lines, just muted colours. The characters almost blend into the background, and seem to be part of the background, because again, they are not edged with harsh lines. However, within the scenes of tranquillity, the characters are individually strong, which allows children to relate to them successfully.
~~Price and Availability~~
Available in store or online, its worth checking amazon for prices. RRP is £5.99, but the book is for sale on amazon from 14p; cheap even when potage costs are taken into account.
~~Other bits of information~~
Publisher: Orchard Books, 2001
~~Other Books By the same author~~
Daisy and The Moon
Come along Daisy!
Daisy and the Egg
Go to Sleep, Daisy
Ebb and Flo and the new friend
Ebb and Flo and the baby seal
Pog and the Birdies
~~What I think of it~~
As I mentioned earlier, the fact that some of the characters are fairies meant that there was no way this story was ever going to be anything but a complete hit! Of course, Little Miss loved it, and thoroughly enjoyed the concept of the dream fairies weaving the magic of sleep we now wait for them at night.
The real test was always going to be whether the story would be appreciated by children who arent especially into fairies. So, having read it to children in Key stage 1 on several occasions, I can report that it is a popular one. The subject matter is one which children can relate to going to sleep. This encourages lots of discussion about whether we can get to sleep easily and what we do if we cant. Its a useful way of allaying fears children may have if they cant sleep, because they take the story as as given and hope that the Dream fairies will help them sleep. Lucy does actually tell Jamie that he has no need to fear the shadows because the Dream fairies live there.
Children do tend to think that Lucy is a very kind older sister and enjoy the fantastical and magical element of the story.
The illustrations themselves appeal to children, and we especially like the picture when we first see the fairies. There is humour in the story, when they land on a turtle which they think is a rock, and children will quickly point out that rocks cant move!
A lovely bedtime story and one which I would recommend.
Thanks for reading.
An enchanting and magical tale of fantasy. With shimmering, glimmering fairies on a glittering cover, this is the perfect read for all fairy fanatics. Lucy's little brother Jamie can't sleep. He keeps seeing things in the shadows on the ceilings. We need to find the Sleep Fairies, Lucy tells him. And so they fly far away across the ocean to the land where the fairies fly.