Fairy World: Enter the Magical and Mysterious Realm

illus. by Ryan Forshaw. 80p. photos. Barron's. Apr. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780764168208.
Gr 4–7—Caldwell has created a definitive guidebook for fans of fairies and other inhabitants of the fairy realm. For hundreds of years, fairies have delighted and eluded their followers, leaving behind only a collection of folklore and oral tradition. These varied sources serve as the foundation for this book. Forshaw uses photography, pencil drawings, and CGI to intrigue and inform serious fantasy enthusiasts. Readers will initially be enchanted by the bold, colorful photography effects but should not be fooled. There is an equal amount of sinister trickery afoot when entering the fairy world. Both the drawings and the descriptions serve as warnings about the dark side of magic. The author includes a number of tips to avoid the unpleasant effects of fairy revenge on unsuspecting mortals. The table of contents and organizational style seem secondary to the design elements, inviting readers to turn to any page for a memorable tidbit of lore, rather than a start-to-finish reading. Each spread has enough details, quotes, and accounts to satisfy those who thought Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black's The Spiderwick Chronicles covered it all.
VERDICT Beautiful at first glance, but a second look reveals just enough danger to keep the mystery of fairies alive; a great addition for collections that serve die-hard fantasy enthusiasts.

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