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