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The World is very old;And fairies sing.
But every Spring
It groweth young again,
—Flower Fairies of the Spring
The Flower Fairies are a series of illustrations by Cicely Mary Barker, which feature in a series of children's books, often accompanied by poetry. The drawings are Pre-Raphaelite influenced, and notable for their botanical accuracy.
The Flower Fairies themselves are small, childlike fairies, often with butterfly-like wings. Cute and sweet-natured, if occasionally mischievous, they are each associated with a different flowering plant, and dressed to resemble that plant.
The books in the series are:
- Flower Fairies of the Spring (1923)
- Flower Fairies of the Summer (1925)
- Flower Fairies of the Autumn (1926)
- A Flower Fairy Alphabet (1934)
- Flower Fairies of the Trees (1940)
- Flower Fairies of the Garden (1944)
- Flower Fairies of the Wayside (1948)
- Flower Fairies of the Winter (1985)
More information about the Flower Fairies, including illustrations of the fairies and a biography of the author, can be found on their official website.
The Flower Fairies provide examples of:
- Anthropomorphic Personification
- Common Meter: Used in some of the poems, such as "Christmas Tree" and "Sycamore".
- Don't Try This At Home: Readers are warned against playing with poisonous laburnum pods.
- I Just Want to Be Beautiful: From the alphabet, poor Fairy U.
- Our Fairies Are Different: They're small, winged and associated with flowers.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The Golden Kingcup Fairy.
- Shown Her Work: The flowers Barker has drawn are all true to their real life counterparts. Even more impressive seeing as she had to draw both the flowers and the children used for her models at an equal scale.