Morgane de Cadier (author) and Florian Pigé (illustrator)
Red Comet Press: 2021
Reviewed by Viv Young
Mister Fairy isn’t a morning fairy or a cleaning fairy or even a healing fairy, but he does have a magical gift to share.
Mister Fairy is a quirky, heart-warming story about finding and appreciating one’s gifts and the joy they bring to everyone. In the forest, Mister Fairy’s talents are not obvious but when he moves outside the forest it becomes clear that his powers of fun and frivolity have always been there, helping the forest creatures. Mister Fairy’s journey of discovery is reassuring for readers who may struggle to see their own unique qualities. The story’s resolution may help readers on their own journey of discovery as it suggests that by experiencing new people and places we can gain perspective in order to perceive our talents; a practical action that readers can try for themselves. Also, the array of fairy gifts mentioned in the text offers opportunities for caregivers to draw attention to all the different ways people (and fairies) contribute to the world.
The artwork for Mister Fairy is superb and will be particularly pleasing for readers who like fantasy and fairies without the gender stereotypes. Mister Fairy is a hilariously grumpy-looking elephant-like fairy who inhabits a forest filled with other whimsical animal-shaped fairies. The forest is full of rich muted colours and is contrasted effectively with the cold greys and browns of the human city, drawing attention, as the story progresses, to Mister Fairy’s latent gift for injecting colour and fun into the world. The animal-fairies’ world is never garish and always reminiscent of the natural world which gives the story a wonderful hint of possibility—could these creatures be the ‘true’ fairies at the bottom of our gardens?
Mister Fairy is a fun story to read with children and provides a gentle reminder to look deep for the gifts that are always there, however familiar or different they may be.