If you are looking for a beautiful keepsake compendium for someone who loves magic, fantasy and mythology, then look no further. The two books I’m showcasing today are gorgeously illustrated, magical books that you will want to keep forever.
A Natural History of Fairies by Emily Hawkins & Jessica Roux
This is possibly the most enchanting illustrated book I have ever owned. From the textured fabric cover and the gold sprayed edges to the large, glorious pages featuring all there is to know about fairy species across the globe. As a note for the publisher explains at the start of the book, A Natural History of Fairies was first compiled by botanist Professor Elsie Arbour in the 1920s.
Not a single aspect of the physiology, habitats and behaviour of fairies has been forgotten. Starting with the classification of fairies in the animal kingdom, this stunning guide goes on to explain the life-cycle of a fairy, which reminded my little girl of the life-cycle of a caterpillar.
There is so much for children (and adults!) to delight and wonder over in this book. The level of detail is extraordinary. Particularly, the anatomy of the fairy which includes detailed drawings of their bone structure and wings.
A Natural History of Fairies goes on to describe the unique traits of fairies all over the world with gorgeous profiles for each country.
This really is a book where each page reaches a new level of awe and wonder. There is so much for children to discover and it will set their imaginations alight – there is even a secret fairy language children can learn! We ADORE this book and it is one of my top picks for 2020!
Mythopedia written by Anna Claybourne and illustrated by Good Wives and Warriors*
This is an absolutely stunning encyclopedia of mythology containing legends, myths and folktales from all over the world. The stories are told by region, starting with the Americas and Europe and then on to Africa, Asia and Oceania.
Each story is written over two to three pages, in beautiful engaging language that is accessible to children. The illustrations bring each tale to life and will help children engage with many stories and creatures that will be completely new to them. My little girl loved discovering the rainbow fish from Hindu legend that is said to be as big as the biggest whale! Look at this stunning illustration!!!
It is fabulous to read about the legends and myths from so many different cultures. I loved reading about the West African spider God, Anansi, which you may remember featured in Lantana’s picture book Maisie’s Scrapbook by Samuel Narh & Jo Loring-Fisher (see my review here).
Mythopedia is a book children will want to come back to over and over again, and learn something new every time. It is a truly exquisite celebration of mythology across cultures. I highly recommend it!
Published by Laurence King Publishing, 15 September 2020
*About Good Wives and Warriors:
Becky Bolton and Louise Chappell have been working collaboratively as Good Wives and Warriors since 2007, soon after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art. They divide their time between designing large-scale installations and undertaking design commissions for companies including Absolut Vodka, Swarovski, Adidas, and Swatch. They are currently based in London.
I am very grateful to the publishers for providing me with a complimentary copies of these books. This voluntary review contains my honest opinion.