What can I say! I feel as though I have been transported back in time. Through gold framed, rich, elaborate, colourful pictures, we follow Sarah Jane, through the forest where she meets all these beautiful fairies. When they insist that Sarah Jane is needed in Fairyland, she is magically made smaller, and flown to a beautiful island, where she meets the Fairy King and Queen. Sarah Jane discovers that her presence, being mortal, will bring good fortune and a happy marriage, and therefore is invited to their daughter’s wedding.
Author and illustrator Shirley Barber has certainly pulled out all the stops with this beautiful story. Born Shirley Machon and growing up on the island of Guernsey, in the English Channel, she always knew she would follow her parents love of art and in her teens won many prizes. With her husband (Peter Donald Turner) she immigrated to Australia. She also dabbled in all types of art including pottery and figurines and worked as a fabric designer. Shirley also built up a thriving business of paintings mostly depicting fairies, and cute animals. In 1985, 30 years after first attempting, she reworded Martha B Rabbit (picture book) and resubmitted for publishing, eventually receiving special mention in the coveted Crici In Erba Awards throughout Europe. I could go on about this author but I would rather you took time out to wander through her wonderland that is her website, beautifully crafted by one of her sons. Read her life story, check out her art catalogue. There are downloads of how to paint or listen to her read. One can get lost here as you would in one of her exquisite books. This is a website I will visit again, if only to visit the dream-child within me, play a gem game, or try my hand at painting.
Shirley’s website is: www.shirleybarbers.com