Book Review – ‘Tales of Fairies’ by Ty Hulse

Posted on: August 9, 2012

Dear readers,

There is a beautiful book I would like to tell you about.  A while back Ty Hulse an artist and author emailed me asking if I would like to review her new book because she had read my post about reading fairy tales to children.  She sent me a link to a PDF version of the book and immediately I wanted to review her book, I contacted her and gave her my details and thought nothing more of it.  However this afternoon a parcel arrived by courier and when I opened it I squealed with delight because the front cover of the book was a beautiful painting of four fairies and an elf sitting on some moss seen through the hole in an old tree.

The title of the book is ‘Tales of Fairies’. and it contains water-colour paintings of fairies to illustrate a variety of poems written by various poets and the rewriting of traditional Welsh, Celtic and German fairy tales.  I will discuss the book in two parts because the paintings deserve to be mentioned as strongly as the content of the stories.

I can only describe her art work as breathtaking and so alive, Ty Hulse manages to give the impression of movement due to flowing style of her drawing and painting.  The colours are vivid and magical and even the printed version does not do them justice.  All of the fairies have a particular face shape; oval with a pointed chin, pointed ears and wide very open eyes.  The bodies are wispy and give the impression of constant movement, as you would expect from fairies.  It looks as if the media used is pencil and water-colour paint.

Ty Hulse describes herself as a Folklorist, which I presume is someone studies tales from around the world relating to fairy folk rather than someone who writes stories based on the traditional fairytale such as, ‘Red Riding Hood’.

The poems and stories included work from Shakespeare, Thomas Moore, William Allingham and a variety of folk tales from around Europe and the United Kingdom.  I got the impression that the audience the book was written for was mainly for adult folklorists and fairy lovers rather than for young children due to the complexity of the language used in the stories.

I am under the impression that I am reading a draft of the story due to a number of grammatical and structural errors such as there not being any paragraphs in some of the stories, which make it more difficult to read.  The descriptions are rich and lots of very good adjectives.  I am not sure if the stories have been rewritten completely or have just had elements added to already existing versions of the story.   I have looked up the titles of some of the stories on the internet and see  some similarities to the versions in the book, to some extent I think that the stories should have been rewritten in Ty’s own words so that there could be a definite connection between the illustrations and the stories themselves.

This truly is a beautiful book and if you are someone who believes in fairies or like me had a grandmother who convinced me that there were fairies everywhere (my grandmother was Welsh so the stories reached my heart and warmed it straight away) you will love this beautiful book.  The illustrations alone are worth buying the book for.  I have included a link to the PDF version of the book for you to look at.


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August 2012

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