Wednesday 1 January 2014

The Little Fairy Sister

The Little Fairy Sister by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite and Grenby Outhwaite (NLA Publishing)
HB RRP $29.99
ISBN 9780642277725
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

The Little Fairy Sister is a story to delight girls and lovers of Australia's literary heritage. Bridget longs to visit the land of the fairies where her sister Nancy now lives. When given the opportunity she jumps at the chance. Her adventures take her many places and she meets many fairy creatures and native Australian animals. She must learn how to fly and discovers that she can talk with the animals. Most of all, she longs to see Nancy once again though she knows this is not possible.

This reproduction of The Little Fairy Sister is a facsimile of the 1929 edition. Ida Rentoul Outhwaite is known as one of Australia's earliest children's book illustrators and was famous for her fairy illustrations. In a twist on the usual process, Ida drew the pictures first and then Grenby fashioned the story around them. While the text may read as a little old-fashioned for modern tastes, I am sure little girls will love the tale of Bridget's adventures. Undoubtedly, the pictures are the highlight of this book and it is easy to see why Ida's fairies were so popular. The fairies are exquisite creatures and the depiction of native flora and fauna brings an Australian feel to the story.

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