Book Review

No Hidden Agenda in Black Fairy Book (Reblog)

I’ve read Paul Day’s delightful Black Fairy book and had intended to do a review here soon, but I’ve decided to reblog these passionate words of the author instead. Weeks later, I still feel a warm glow in my heart from this story. A whole different experience would be gained from reading to a child, as the words flow so beautifully.


4 thoughts on “No Hidden Agenda in Black Fairy Book (Reblog)

  1. First, Christine, I have to say I was gobsmacked–that’s what you folks say, yes? It had never struck me just how WHITE all magical beings are! Awfully sad, for little children who are not, growing up.

    Next, the rush of joy that followed THAT realization, upon seeing the book’s cover and realizing this imbalance standoff was about to broken! Terrific!

    But then: Disappointment, to be honest. I so wish the author had chose to simply write a marvelous tale about a fairy who happens to be black, rather than a tale making her skin color the reason for her rejection. For I think that plants the seed or reinforces the idea of skin color wrongness, and the world is doing quite enough of that. I think young children’s inputs should present mixed cultures and colors matter-of-factly.

    But that’s just me, and I do see how stress-relieving this could be for anchild of color getting picked on. Perhaps it could open the eyes of potential bullies–who knows? Good on him for thinking of it and writing it!

    Thank you for sharing–really interesting.


  2. Thanks for your comment Babe.

    The Black Fairy’s rejection in this story is based on superstition more than anything else. Yes, it is based on skin colour but such a baby was deemed bad luck for the village – it happened from time to time that the child retrieved from the birth flower was different. I’m pleased her parents did not abandon her and the family moved out of the flower garden to live and the child grew with no resentment, but with a sadness, and resignation. After her parents died, Lilly went to live with the dragonflies who accepted her without reservation. Her adventures begin, and to be honest I probably had forgotten about her colour by then because I see the images in my head that I’m used to, for any character, usually what their name conjures up. Her colour was never an issue again, not that I recall, but when she saved her village they of course realized that they had been wrong to judge her by old prejudices and were shamed by her loyalty to them despite how they had rejected her. Anyhow, that is how I read it. I think the ending justifies the beginning.

    Sometimes you have to tackle prejudices head on. There is no point trying to pretend that everything is hunky dory all the time. There is a fine line between telling a lovely story and preaching?

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