Isobel’s greatest obsession these days is faeries. It’s sort of my fault. When I was a kid I was obsessed with faeries myself and as soon as she showed even the slightest hint of interest I started sharing all of my Cecily Mary Barker books with her. These books were written in the early 1900s and reflect the fashion of the times. I just love them and through this book Isobel has learned quite a bit about different flowers and plants which never fails to impress garden store workers. After each time reading through Flower Fairies we follow it up with reading Fairy Island, a book by a nature crating artist who created five or so different imagined homes for fairies. Add this to repeated viewings of Miyazaki’s Borrower’s-inspired movie The Secret World of Arrietty, and Isobel wants nothing more than to make faerie houses all day every day.
This one is her current favorite because unlike most of them it is contained in a decorated shoebox that once held running shoes belonging to her father. We painted it together (she instructed me where to paint hearts but the rest is all her), and she’s added crayon, stickers, and other ornamentation herself. Grandma and Grandpa, ever sympathetic to her wishes, bought her the little pink metal bench and white chair at a garden store, and the set of dressers used to a picture frame from their living room collection. The rest of the items have been gathered (borrowed, you know, not stolen) from around the house. The gold ornament hanging from the top of the box is supposed to be the sun and the white moon sticker on the dresser is supposed to appease but sun and moon fairies.
One time Anthony put some of her plastic fairy toys in the fairy house but that mistake was swiftly corrected. This house is for real fairies, Dada. Not toys. Real fairies.
Despite our honest answers to the question she remains convinced fairies are real. They are just very small and very fast and know how to hide from adults. Little girls can see them, however, and she can’t wait until a real fairy decides to take up residence in this fully furnished apartment.