Five year old C is enthralled with fairies. All last summer she communed with the fairies she says live in our front garden, and one reason I am SO glad that I put in the flower garden is because C says that we now attract way more fairies than we did when the front yard was just grass. She knows their names, their family configurations, and even which flower each of them prefers to sleep in at night.
Lately, though, I think some of her friends, maybe at kindergarten, have challenged her in her belief that fairies are real, and that she knows some of them personally. And with the cold weather, and the winter quiet in the garden, she isn’t able to play outside with the fairies to reassure herself that they exist. No flowers = no fairies around at the moment.
Knowing C’s great love of the fairyfolk, Jon and I gave her the definitive guide: The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker for Christmas this year. As I suspected she would be, she’s enthralled with the book and its gorgeous, magical fairy drawings and poems.
And last night, after she’d been sitting on her bed for a good while, turning pages and admiring the fairies, she got up and brought the book to me, and earnestly asked, “Mama, is this book fiction or non-fiction?”
I hesitated a moment because I had no idea that she had ever even heard the words “fiction” and “non-fiction,” much less knew what they meant. But once I figured out what she was asking, and why, I answered her.
“Non-fiction, sweetie. Your new book is non-fiction.”