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A Natural History of Fairies

Written by Emily Hawkins

Illustrated by Jessica Roux

Part of the Folklore Field Guides Series

Key Stage 1 Ecological and Environmental Interest - Non Fiction Mystery / Mythology Non-Fiction Reference Books

LoveReading View on A Natural History of Fairies

Charming vintage-styled must-read for fairy fans with a modern-day environmental message

This enchanting reinvention of a Natural History of Fairies written by botanist Professor Elsie Arbour in the 1920s glows with timeless charm and the magic of nature. What’s more, author Emily Hawkins’s message about protecting fairies’ natural habitats has important real-world resonance, such as this: “human actions are putting fairies’ habitats at risk. When forests and woodland are cut down to make space for farmland…then fairies’ homes are destroyed.”


Fairy enthusiasts will delight in the detail of the softly-radiant illustrations that present fairy anatomy and life cycles in the manner of natural history books, replete with labels and descriptions. Throughout, the book is suffused with a thrilling feeling that fairies might be found - if you know what you’re looking for, and where to look. The section on language and secret scripts will undoubtedly inspire young readers to write their own fairy codes, while coverage of a huge range of habitats - from meadows, gardens and woodlands, to mountains, marine environments and jungles - gives a satisfying global feel. Alongside providing fairy-lovers with much fodder for exploration, this coverage of habitats, and information on the likes of leaves, plants and animals, might also spark a wider love of nature.


Sumptuously presented, with a silk bookmark, and gold edging and cover foil supplementing Jessica Roux’s illustrations, this book’s style is every bit as charming as its content, which makes it a gift to treasure.

Joanne Owen

A Natural History of Fairies Synopsis

This enchantingly illustrated natural history of fairies, compiled in the 1920s by the botanist Professor Elsie Arbour for her niece, is now unveiled for readers of today.

Featuring a gold foil-embossed cloth cover, a ribbon marker and sprayed gold edges, this gorgeous volume is filled with colourful sketches and precise notes detailing the secret life of fairies and their important role in the natural world. Inside, you will discover the wide and wonderful array of different species of fairy around the globe and explore where and how they live.

Delight in this hidden world as you learn all about: The anatomy of a fairy (Land-based fairies have individual, separated toes, just as humans do. However, many species of water fairy have webbed feet.) The life cycle of a fairy (When walking in the heather, be careful of the tiny flutterpillar of the Wicklow Fairy, decked out in greens and purples.) Clever fairy camouflage (Reed fairies living in wetlands usually wear striped clothes to hide among the tall reeds.) Fairies around the world (Meet the Lily Hopper of sub-Saharan Africa, the Queen Fairy of New Guinea, the Penguin Fairy of the Antarctic and many more.) Fairy habitats (Fairies make their homes in all types of places: woodlands, jungles, deserts, the Poles and even human homes.)

Concluding with a reminder that we must protect the endangered habitats of fairies, and all other creatures too, this is a book to be treasured for a lifetime.

A Natural History of Fairies Press Reviews

I'm a huge fan of Emily Hawkins' books and her style of writing. This pairing with Jessica Roux's minutely detailed illustrations is nothing short of sublime, with beautifully timeless elements like a foil-embossed cloth cover ribbon marker, majestic endpapers with a stunning bookplate and sprayed gold edges that make it feel like an instant heirloom. -- The Little Literary Society

A magical, mysterious volume full of vintage-inspired sketches and precise field notes. -- Fiona Noble - The Bookseller, September Previews

Book Information

ISBN: 9780711247666
Publication date: 22nd September 2020
Author: Emily Hawkins
Illustrator: Jessica Roux
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Childrens Books an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 64 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 1
Topics: Gift Books, Ecological and Environmental, Mystery / Mythology, Non-Fiction, Reference Books

About Emily Hawkins

Emily Hawkins is a writer and editor of children's books for all ages. She wrote the New York Times bestseller Oceanology, as well as several other titles in the Ology series, which has sold over 16 million copies worldwide. She holds a first-class English degree from Nottingham University, and now lives in Winchester with her young family.

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