Sunday, 21 June 2015

The launch of 'The Fairiest Fairy' - Anne Booth

This month I have had so much fun launching 'The Fairiest Fairy', my first picture book. The amazing illustrator is Rosalind Beardshaw and she has created such a gorgeous world for Betty, my muddled, messy fairy with a kind heart.

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!


Sue Purkiss said...

It all sounds lovely!

Emma Barnes said...

Congratulations! What a fantastic launch.

Anne Booth said...

Thank you both. And just to add - I found the rabbit and blackbird in a bag I had overlooked!