Fairy Secrets by Gwyneth ReesColumbine: This book is set in a quiet Welsh valley, and you can see the Welsh national flower, the daffodil, on the cover. The fairies all wear daffodil dresses and cardigans made of the local wool, and they look after the sheep when they get into trouble on the hills. Their queen is Queen Lily of the Valley, and she wears a long yellow-and-cream dress made of different kinds of daffodil petals.

Shy Ellie and her grumpy older brother David are visiting their aunt during the summer holidays. On the way to her house they stop at a garage shop where Ellie sees some fairies taking a chocolate bar; she is so surprised she cries out and scares them. The garage owner, Mr Owens, believes in fairies too (which means he can see them), and advises Ellie to leave some chocolate on the window ledge if she wants fairies to visit her. David is quite rude about it, and his aunt reminds him that ten years ago, when he was four, he told her that he had rescued a fairy from a pond. David scornfully points out that Ellie is nine, though I don’t see myself what that has to do with anything. Funnily enough, that very same fairy, Myfanwy, comes to visit them that night – or rather to visit David, whom she remembers. She is sad that he cannot see her any more; though of course no one who has actually seen a fairy can really stop believing.

The fairies ask Ellie to help save the Toy Museum, which has the only portal from their Fairyland into the valley, and which is in danger of being sold and knocked down. Ellie learns a very important secret about toys, and has a ride on a Welsh pony (that is a special sort of small sturdy pony) which has been given wings courtesy of fairy dust. She also finds out that she can get over being shy if she has something very important to say.

Robin: I was a bit surprised to hear Myfanwy saying that “Unicorns are make-believe … no one in their right mind believes in those!“. A rather narrow-minded attitude! I think someone needs to leave her precious valley once in a while.

This book is one of the Fairy Dust Fairies series

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