It’s Spring! And the flowers are blooming – what better time to look at an ABC of flowers?
A FLOWER FAIRY ALPHABET
by Cicely Mary Barker
originally published in 1934 – new reproduction 1990
I have fond memories of hours spent with my grandmother reading and admiring the Flower Fairy books written and illustrated by Cecily Mary Barker between 1923 and 1970. The fairies are each modeled on real children who were students in her sister’s kindergarten classes. Cecily made a different costume for each fairy using twigs and gauze for the wings. She was an accomplished artist who worked primarily with watercolors and pastels making sure her illustrated plants and flowers were botanically correct. Cecily was a collector of flower folklore and legends which she used in the whimsical poems that she wrote to accompany each flower fairy.
The Song of the Fuchsia Fairy
Fuchsia is a dancer
Dancing on her toes,
Clad in red and purple,
By a cottage wall;
Sometimes in a greenhouse,
In frilly white and rose,
Dressed in her best for the fairies’ evening ball!
The Song of the Lily-of-the-Valley Fairy
Gentle fairies, hush your singing:
Can you hear my white bells ringing,
Ringing as from far away?
Who can tell me what they say?
Little snowy bells out-springing
From the stem and softly ringing—
Tell they of a country where
Everything is good and fair?
Lovely, lovely things for L!
Lilac, Lavender as well;
And, more sweet than rhyming tells,
Reproductions of her books and posters are available through her estate. Take a look at the website for more information and flower fairy activities. There are even coloring pages that you can download and make your own flower fairy art.
One of the loveliest things about the Flower Fairy Alphabet is its size which makes it just right for little hands.