THE PRESSED FAIRY JOURNAL OF MADELEINE COTTINGTON

PrintE-mail Written by Ian White

When Maddi Cottington and her parents emigrate from New York to London, strange things quickly begin happening. Maddi starts to see odd blurs and flashes on the periphery of her vision and she begins to worry that she might need glasses. But when she discovers a couple of old books about the Cottington family (which, for some reason, drives her father apoplectic), she begins to learn her ancestors secret – the Cottington’s can see fairies, and it has driven many of them mad.

When she overhears her parents talking, and realises they plan to send her back to the US to live with her unpleasant aunt, Maddi decides to run away from home. And she knows exactly where she’s headed – the Cottington’s long-derelict mansion. Here she will discover the various cryptic messages that were passed between Angelica and Quentin Cottington, the brother and sister who lived in the mansion many decades before. She learns that Angelica was obsessed with pressing the fairies between the pages of her notebooks, whereas Quentin created all kinds of weird and wonderful inventions to collect the various tastes and smells the fairies left behind. And Maddi finds out she can also capture the fairies between the pages of her own journal, snapping the book shut and squashing them flat. Unbelievably, the fairies themselves seem to enjoy it (there’s a reassuring note at the front of the journal stating that no fairies have been maimed or injured during the making of this book).

But as the days pass, Maddi realises she was always meant to be here, and that the fairies have a plan. She’s sure that it’s got something to do with the strange beehive-shaped hut that is somewhere in the woods that surround the estate, and she’s determined to uncover the secret. The only danger is, when she passes through the hut, will she ever return? And if she does return, will the experience have driven her insane, which is exactly what seems to have happened to poor Quentin.

Dressed in her suit of armour, with only her beehive tattoo for protection, Maddi steps into the unknown.

This is the latest in the bestselling series of Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy books and it is an absolute delight. Not surprisingly – since it was written and illustrated by the iconic and utterly brilliant Brian and Wendy Froud – it is also quite beautiful to look at, with squashed fairies on every page (some gorgeous and sylph-like and some downright loony-looking), photographs from Maddi’s selfie collection, and various pictures and drawings courtesy of Angelica and Quentin. And don’t forget to check out the envelope on the inside-back cover.

The Pressed Fairy Journal of Madeleine Cottington is a spellbinding treat for children of all ages that proves, sometimes, reading truly can be magical. 

THE PRESSED FAIRY JOURNAL OF MADELEINE COTTINGTON / AUTHORS: BRIAN AND WENDY FROUD / PUBLISHER: ABRAMS BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 27TH
 


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