Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties: A Practical Guide by Miss Edythe McFate by Lesley M. M. Blume, David Foote (Illustrator)
This was an impulse check-out. I saw it while I was browsing for fairy tales and said, “Why not?” Children’s books can be clever and entertaining. I’m still kicking myself for never reading any Roald Dahl or Lloyd Alexander as a kid. Unfortunately, this book annoyed and disappointed me.
Modern Fairies, etc. has two components. Warnings and information on fairies in the modern world, specifically the fairies of New York City, and didactic tales featuring children that know no better than to deal with the fae. The annoying part was the nature myth aspect of most of this book. Too many times the warnings or tales passed off fairies, etc. as the reason for natural occurrences. Now, even if I put aside my skepticism (this is of course a work of fiction), I still don’t know why so many of the tales involve nature after spending effort on trying to be set in current day NYC. This book is not what it claims to be, really. Or, at least, not what I thought it could be–a light kid’s book about truly urban fairies. That was disappointing.
The warnings weren’t too bad. In fact, occasionally Blume’s writing is really lovely. The tales were pretty unremarkable. They weren’t quite witty or ridiculous enough. In structure, it felt like a handful of short stories with some filler in between, with the filler being the better ingredient. I will give the book props for not presenting these fae as sparkly Disney tinker-bells. They’re generally untrustworthy and often ugly.
Format: Kindle Cloud Reader
Procurement: Greater Phoenix Digital Library