25. Flower Fairies of the Garden by Cicely Mary Barker

Flower Fairies of the Garden by Cicely Mary Barker  (buy)

Rating: (5/5)

1944, Blackie & Son, 56 pgs

Ages: (3+)

"In a format that has enchanted readers for 90 years, each of Cicely Mary Barker’s beautiful illustrations of the fairies of wild and familiar garden flowers is accompanied by a delightful poem. Flower Fairies of the Garden celebrates and introduces children to the flowers and plants that grow in the garden by making them magical. Garden favourites to be found in Flower Fairies of the Garden include: The Narcissus Fairy, The Lavender Fairy and The Cornflower Fairy.."

Passed on to me from my mother.

This isn't really a review but rather an homage to a book, a memory, a keepsake.  This book was my mother's from when she was a little girl and she kept it in her underwear drawer.  My parents' room was the forbidden zone and we only went in when invited, otherwise I would just stand upon the threshold looking in, hoping I'd be invited.  So if I was, I remember it smelled like talcum powder, it was usually when my mum was getting ready for going out.  I'd get to see the special stuff and this was one of the things.  She'd let me look at it, read it and talk about her childhood.  When I was older she gave the book to me.  I'm not a big fan of poetry but as a kid I did have some poetry books and I "knew what I liked".  I talked about another childhood favourite here.  I loved this old-fashioned book and gorgeous illustrated plates more than the sweet fairy poems but re-reading through it now, there are stanzas and lines that vividly come back to my memory since I'd said them so many times as a child.  This particularly caught my attention as I can recall my childlike self saying it :

"...Yet who
Does not love Periwinkle's blue?"

But I would say it like this:

"Yet whooooo.  
Does not love.  
Periwinkle's bluuuuue?"

and I never knew what this flower, or many of the British garden flowers mentioned in the poems, looked like in real life but I always connected it with my periwinkle Crayola crayon.

This book is falling apart but it is a keeper for me, and I keep it in my underwear drawer.


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