A Midsummer Night's Faery Tale

A Midsummer Night's Faery Tale by Wendy Froud & Terri Windling.
Photographs by John Lawrence Jones, photographic art direction by Brian Froud.
Simon & Schuster, 1999.

I hope everyone north of the equator has had a blessed first day of summer! I'm not much of a summery sort myself. I prefer the bleak midwinter, but I try my best to make do. Last night was the solstice (11:24 PM CDT), and although I'm a bit late blogging about it, I did have the perfect book for the occasion.

This little book is one I used to admire when I worked at the bookstore. It eventually fell out of print, but I found a copy at a used shop last winter. Wendy Froud sculpts the most amazing dolls. (And puppets - she helped fabricate Yoda and many other Muppets back in the day!) She and fantasy writer Terri Windling have created a lovely little tale about a tiny earthbound faery named Sneezle, who helps save the Midsummer festivities in the faery court from a power-hungry handmaiden. It's a sweet little faery tale, made more wondrous by the beautiful art.

Ahem - Art that is far more wondrous if you get a copy of the book for yourself! It was hard to photograph.

There are goblins and elves and faery musicians. Everyone is preparing for Midsummer Night, when the Queen of the Faeries is crowned. The queen has been Titania for ages, but technically, a new one could be crowned any year. Poor little Sneezle only seems to be in the way. In the end, though, it is little Sneezle who saves the day and saves Queen Titania and her good attendants from a spell.

I adore the Froud family and their work. I am so relieved that they are involved in the making of the new Netflix prequel to The Dark Crystal. (Son Toby, as in baby Toby from Labyrinth, gave an interview to Faerie magazine about it, which you can read here.) Little Sis and I are planning to see the original film at the Orpheum this September. I promised her I would save the date!

May your summer be dreamy, folks! International Fairy Day is Saturday. I don't know if we'll have a fairy house this year, but the fireflies are sparkling like crazy in our backyard. Around dusk, everything starts to look like a fairyland! (A rather messy fairyland...)

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