How to see faeries

by | May 25, 2022

Recently, I have been revisiting the classic pop-up book, How to see faeries by John Matthews and Brian Froud. As the title suggests, the book is a guide to seeing faeries. I cordially invite you to read on more to learn more about the book.

How do you meet faeries?

Have you ever wanted to see and meet faeries but wasn’t sure how to do it? How to see faeries is a wonderful guide that will assist you. The book is beautifully crafted and in my opinion, magical too. The text and illustrations, which include optical illusions, together invite us shift out of our normal stream of consciousness and into more mystical states.  With the help of paper elements within pages, the reader is invited to travel through portals, and encounter faeries of all kinds. The book is one you can read many times and each time, a new secret will be revealed. I feel this magic is primarily contributed to Froud’s illustrations, which are exquisitely elaborate and multi-vocal. I also especially love the incorporation of more traditional celtic symbolism, such as the circle of life.

When the book was first released in 2011, some readers were disappointed that it didn’t explore faery lore in depth, especially since both authors are highly esteemed for their knowledge on the subject. It is important to highlight that while suitable for adults, the book’s primary audience is children. As a result, the book would have been constrained somewhat by picture book guidelines. On the other hand, more text might have detracted from what I feel is the real gift of this book: it can act as a tool to help unlock the intuition and connect with the imagination, two key elements needed when wishing to encounter faeries.

And the book certainly has inspired my imagination! While reading about ‘The Theatre of the Imagination’, which includes a mini pop up stage, I felt a subtle nudge to create a mini theatre for my garden. This is a project I have wanted to do for some time but put it off. It will now be the focus of my artist date this week!

Abrams Books is the publisher of How to see faeries and the book is available on Amazon.

Have you heard the book? I’d love to know what you think. Please share with me below.

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