The Teeny Weeny Walking Stick by Karen Hodgson, illustrated by Sally Anne Lambert (Hogs Back Books) is a lovely, gentle book that Milo and I have very much enjoyed reading together. It’s rare I think, though please do comment and let me know of any, to find a book about little people and magic fairies with a little boy as the central protagonist so it’s been great to share this together.
Edward is a little boy who believes in fairies, elves and little people and when he finds what he thinks is a teeny-weeny walking stick in his garden he runs straight to his big sister to show her. Unfortunately, being older and busy with her homework she is not so convinced. She wants Edward to bring her some better proof.
Edward makes many trips into the garden to find proof (and to try and tear his sister’s attention away from her homework), coming back with an assortment of different items including fairy wings and fluffy slippers but his big sister has a rational answer for everything he brings her (sycamore tree seed, catkins). His finds all go on his special shelf in his bedroom. I won’t tell you what happens at the end of the book but needless to say, it doesn’t disappoint if you want both children to end up believing!
The illustrations are truly endearing as magic in the form of fairy folk, toadstool, mushroom houses and tree houses are present in every image but are not seen by either children. I always believed fairy folk were there. I just couldn’t see them, or it was the wrong time of day for them to come out!
This image is lovely with its tiny little steps and doors carved into trees. These delight me still as an adult as much as they would have done as a child. Completely enchanting.
If you’re looking for some real-life inspiration, I’ve spent a lot of time recently, drooling over the pictures on the Green Renaissance Facebook Page. If you’re on Facebook, check out their photo albums, but be prepared not to be able to move away from your computer screen for a little while. There are some quite breathtaking images, and lots of gnarly trees and beautiful forests where fairies and elves are bound to live.
(I received our copy of The Teeny Weeny Walking Stick from Hogs Back Books but all views and thoughts are of course mine and Milo’s very own!)