Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"Titania and Oberon - A Fairy Tale" by Phyllis Bray (Pavilion Children's Books)

Wow! Prepare to be truly dazzled by this one. First published in 1945, it's the glorious return of Phyllis Bray's "Titania and Oberon - A Fairy Tale"...
A great many of our favourite books over the last few years hark back to an era way before children's books started to take on the form we know and love today.

Whenever we're lucky enough to see a book like "Titania and Oberon" we're always amazed by how many cues and foundations laid down in these early colour children's titles are still part of the 'rule set' in existence for children's books today.

"Titania and Oberon" is of course drawn from Shakespeare's dream-like "A Midsummer Night's Dream", acting as a fantastic introduction to Shakespeare's work for children.

Phyllis extensively reworked the story to be a beautiful child-friendly standalone tale in its own right, based on the tale of Titania, the Fairy Queen, and Oberon, King of the Fairies

When the two fall into a quarrel about who should have charge of a little changeling boy, Oberon and his servant, Puck, cast a spell which causes Titania to fall magically in love with Nick Bottom, a weaver who has been given the head of a donkey.

Oberon sees the error of his ways and seeks a way to reverse the spell and restore harmony.

It's luxuriously reprinted in a cloth-bound hardcover with Phyllis' beautiful illustrations intact:

These really set the scenes so beautifully that it's easy to get lost in them.

Utterly beautiful stuff, and such a welcome return.

Charlotte's favourite bit: She fell completely in love with Titania, of course - loved the illustrations very much.

Daddy's favourite bit: Though I'm not really a Shakespeare fan (thanks to some pretty awful treatments of it at school) I have to say that this book could easily win me round. Beautiful, dreamy, gloriously retold. Books like this show just how long we've had stunning children's books out there and it's so good to see this one make a comeback.

(Kindly supplied for review)

"Titania and Oberon - A Fairy Tale" by Phyllis Bray is out now published by Pavilion. 

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