Now, Rosalind and I could not get together for the launch, so I had to try to recreate this gorgeous world with the use of props.
First of all, a fairy needs a dress and wings. I went to a local fancy dress shop and had a scary moment getting stuck in the changing rooms in a Red Queen dress which was a bit too small for me and not quite the right look for a fairy story teller. My idea to hire that and add some wings was not going to work. That was a bit disheartening and I left feeling the shop, finally out of the dress and back in my own clothes, feeling rather flustered.
However, on my way back to the bus stop I passed an AMAZING shop which sold these:
HUGE flowers so just right for scale, and a rainbow coloured umbrella - flowery headbands - and wings!
Which I wore: (NB lovely biscuit wands my daughter made and which were very much enjoyed by young customers)
And spare wings which some gorgeous fairy people wore:
These last weeks I have sung umpteen times (to the tune of 'The children on the bus...' ) 'The fairies at the school scatter dewdrops like this, wake the flowers like this, paint the rainbows like this…' and we have all waved rainbow scarves.
I also had a singing blackbird toy and a toy rabbit but the last time I saw them was at the summer fete and they weren't in my props bag at home when I looked. Someone very cleverly pointed out on twitter that it was like the plot line of Shirley Hughes' 'Dogger' - although I replied that I don't remember that wonderful story being about a middle-aged writer losing her props. I REALLY hope I find that little rabbit and bird soon…or that if they got sold by mistake that someone nice bought them...
Basically, I have had a lovely time. I am so grateful to Rosalind for her wonderful illustrations - and I have loved seeing the children's faces as I have read the book out. I have also loved talking to the children and hearing their reactions too. I have read out 'The Fairiest Fairy' at playgroups, a school and a school fete - to about a hundred children since the 4th June. One little reception class boy said his favourite bit was when Betty was crying. I was a little taken aback but when I said 'is that because you know how it is to feel sad?' he nodded his head very seriously. I found that very touching. They all loved the happy ending and I have found this whole experience so rewarding. Basically, writing children's books is about writing books for children - and seeing my story come to life illustrated by an amazing artist, and seeing 2,3, 4 and 5 year old children fall in love with Rosalind's depiction of my characters, has been the best fun in the world!