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The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by…

The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies (edition 2002)

by Cicely Mary Barker (Author)

Series: Flower Fairies [Original Series] (compilation), Flower Fairies (compilation)

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419643,277 (4.3)5
When in 1923 Cicely Mary Barker created the first of the Flower Fairy books, Flower Fairies of the Spring, she could have had no idea of the popularity they would enjoy. This volume brings together Barker's fairy illustrations and poems from the eight original Flower Fairy books.
Title:The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies
Authors:Cicely Mary Barker (Author)
Info:Warne (2002), Edition: New Ed, 192 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker

  1. 00
    The Little Book of Elves and Fairies by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite (PitcherBooks)
    PitcherBooks: Both Barker (UK) & Outhwaite (Australia) are the premier fairy artists of their era. Different styles but equally beautiful!

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It's not every day that Killer Aphrodite reviews picture books or children's books, but The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker is very special. This new edition, with a pretty new cover - published by Penguin Books South Africa - will make you nostalgic for your youth, and will remind you of all the beauty in the world without needing to step a foot outside. The beautiful artwork is accompanied by the original poetry by Barker, which not only tells you more about the fairy in question, but also shows that painting with poetry is an art form that's no longer as pure as it was.
It's a beautiful book that should be included in every little girl's library.
This particular edition includes:

* Flower Fairies of the Spring
* Flower Fairies of the Summer
* Flower Fairies of the Autumn
* Flower Fairies of the Winter
* Flower Fairies of the Garden
* Flower Fairies of the Trees
* Flower Fairies of the Wayside
* A Flower Fairy Alphabet

The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies is a charming book, which will have your little one entertained for hours with the beautiful art work and wonderful poetry. And it'll make a wonderful gift too, so keep that in mind. On the other hand, if you don't have any kids in your life, nobody will blame you if you get it for yourself. I mean, we all have guilty pleasures and this edition is so wonderful ... so, why not? ( )
  MoniqueSnyman | Oct 3, 2019 |
Oh my goodness.? So, this is probably the book(s) that ppl who abhor 'twee' and ppl who remind us that faeries are selfish, wicked creatures mock.?á And of course it's English, and the child models are all white.?á But!?á But goodness would I have loved this when I was a little girl.?á I would have made costumes for my dollhouse dolls based on these costumes, and I would have learned the flowers, berries, and trees that are so often mentioned in the chapter books that I was reading (y'know, like The Secret Garden, and Nesbit's books, and Narnia...), and I probably would have smiled and danced more, viewing these children as role models.?á A book for a child to own and treasure, not so much for an adult to check out from the library, though.

In this collection is the story The Fairy Necklaces" which is almost too sweet, and preachy, but which I enjoy now and would have loved when I was a child." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
This book is utterly beautiful. The fairy illustrations are colourful, creative and unique. If you love illustration, I believe this work is one of those masterpieces to which you will endlessly go back to for inspiration.
The nursery rhymes are also very sweet, and I'm sorry there's no translation to my language so I could share this book with some children in my family.
A must have for all fairy lovers. ( )
  Eilantha_Le_Fay | Aug 19, 2011 |
Absolutely, positively one of the most charming collections of art ever. This book makes a terrific gift to any special girl in your life, from five to seventy five. ( )
  JNSelko | Jun 19, 2008 |
If you have had even the slightest exposure to children's literature, fairy art or the subject of fairies in general, you are probably familiar with the work of Cicely Mary Barker. Over the last decade books and other products featuring this talented artist's Flower Fairies have flooded the market, saturating it to such a point that the term "fairies" is now nearly synonymous with her particular vision. There have been dozens of different books published which feature her innocent little fairies that look like sweet Victorian children with wings and pointy ears. There are numerous spin-off products available from figurines, tea-sets, games, puzzles, clothes and costumes to outdoor statuary, nursery lamps and night-lights. As adorable as they are, even for me, a devout fairy lover, the popularity of Miss Barker's Flower Fairies has sometimes made them seem passé. I feel that this story book format restores the paintings to the level of art. This book is helpful in putting all of the Flower Fairies into a setting where the beautiful art and Miss Barker's quaint accompanying poetry can be appreciated fully in one place, in the order in which the original separate books were released. It is a bountiful treasury and the one of several available compilations that I recommend the most highly.

Born in 1895 in Croydon, near London, England, Cicely Mary Barker suffered from epilepsy and was in fragile health most of her life. Consequently she learned to amuse herself with painting and with the keen eye for detail of an observer whose world is small. Her sister operated a kindergarten and so Cicely had an ample number of models readily available to her. Her paintings were executed in water color in a style reminiscent of the Pre-Raphaelite painters and contain exquisite detail, botanically accurate flowers, trees and even "weeds" each coupled with a fairy looking like a child dressed in corresponding costume and a beautiful pair of butterfly-like wings. A quaint poem about the attributes of each flower, plant or tree accompanies each painting. She uses the folk names of many of the plants which I find utterly charming and of course being English she uses the English names for the flowers. For example she calls what here in the United States we would call an English Daisy (a tiny pink to rose colored flower)simply a "Daisy." The larger white flowers with yellow centers that we would call daisies are not present in these books. Most of the flower names were familiar to me however. I learned quite a lot of what I know about flowers from Miss Barker's books. The details of the paintings and the whimsical folklore found within the poetry are not only beautiful but informative.

Cicely's first flower fairy book, Flower Fairies of the Spring was published in 1923. I found my first copy of it in 1972 much to my delight. She went on to publish six more flower fairy books as follows:
Flower Fairies of the Summer
Flower Fairies of the Autumn
Flower Fairies of the Wayside
Flower Fairies of the Trees
Flower Fairies of the Garden
A Flower Fairy Alphabet.
In addition to the flower fairy books she also illustrated a book called The Fairy Necklaces and one called Old Rhymes for All Times. All of these titles are included in this one volume. Miss Barker was a devout Christian and also illustrated Bible stories, hymns and prayers which are not included in this book but are well worth seeking. Her Bible Stories with Prayers and Hymns from Frederick Warne is out of print in the United States but available used.

This book, The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies is my favorite of all the formats of Miss Barker's work because it is so inclusive and also because many of the paintings are displayed in a full page enlarged size that shows the lovely details to a satisfying degree. The dust jacket is embossed with gold foil accents and the end papers contain two monochrome illustrations that I have not seen anywhere else.

The size of this book is such that two fairy paintings and two poems fit on to each page. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the publishers have elected to display some of the flower fairies that were originally painted against colored washes directly onto the white page and I feel this detracts somewhat. Paintings with more detailed backgrounds were left intact. Overall, no real harm is done and the cut-out appearance can be said to add interest to the page lay-outs so it really is just a matter of personal taste.

As to style, artists have rendered fairies in all fashions from the fierce and malevolent to the cartoonish but Cicely has kept to the innocent and hopeful. Her depiction of fairies is dear to me. While the fantasy notion of the Victorian love for fairies may seem childish it is certainly one that the young at heart will always enjoy. Cicely Mary Barker's work has become so popular because of the innocence of her heart and the innocence with which she instilled her little wild beings. Her skill is magnificent not only in depicting the fairies with their flowery costumes and beautiful wings but in the beauty of the plants and flowers themselves. No truer depictions can be found in scientific handbooks for field research yet these sing with romance as well. Miss Barker loved her subjects and that is very evident.

Another anthology of her flower fairy paintings is called A Flower Fairy Treasury and while it contains only the most popular paintings from each of the flower fairy books, all of the paintings in it (30 in number) are shown in an enlarged full page format with the corresponding poem displayed on the facing page. I prefer the book I am reviewing here simply because it has all of the paintings. ( )
1 vote Treeseed | Feb 19, 2008 |
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When in 1923 Cicely Mary Barker created the first of the Flower Fairy books, Flower Fairies of the Spring, she could have had no idea of the popularity they would enjoy. This volume brings together Barker's fairy illustrations and poems from the eight original Flower Fairy books.

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