Cover of Child of Faerie/Child of Earth by Jane Yolen

Child of Faerie/Child of Earth

This rhymed fairy tale is about the friendship between a mortal child and a boy of the faerie folk. The verse that begins, “He was a child of faerie folk, a child of sky and air,” just popped into my head one day. It had its own peculiar rhyme scheme. One such verse is do-able. Two or three possible. But what ever possessed me to write over a dozen? And that was hard enough. It took weeks and weeks. Six months later my editor, Maria Modugno, wanted me to add a couple of extra verses. Arrrrgh. But I defy anyone to figure out which two verses were added. The pictures are Jane Dyer at her fairy best. She says the last page, of the old woman and the old fairy, are supposed to be my husband and me. I helped design the jacket.

A special edition was brought out by Winterthur Museum. There is a Greek edition.

See a speech I gave about writing Child of Faerie, Child of Earth.

A new edition was published in hardcover by Winterthur Museum on the occasion of my being their first ever Children’s Ambassador.

What reviewers have said:

  • “Outstanding.” — American Bookseller
  • “… a charming story for the multi-cultural 90’s. … The story is written in graceful verse, with illustrations that emphasize the solid earthiness of the girl, and the illusive, moonlit quality of the faerie boy. Together they remind us of how we can be linked to others by genuine respect and affection, however different from ourselves they may seem.” — NOTES FROM THE WINDOWSILL, An electronic journal of book reviews
  • “Yolen adds some sweet details to a story with a familiar folktale ring, presenting all in pleasing poetry that slips easily off the tongue for reading aloud. Dyer’s illustrations are a study in colorful contrast: the quaint, apple-cheeked girl with a circle of flowers in her hair; the fairy boy in diaphanous green with sun-dappled wings; a landscape bright with brilliant harvest colors; an enchanted hall “bedecked in candlelight.” A story about a friendship that stretches across some unusual boundaries.” — Booklist
  • “Yolen has written a poem of other-worldly love. . . . A charming story perfectly illustrated by Jane Dyer.”–
  • “This gentle story of an unusual friendship is recounted in challenging vocabulary and melodic rhyme; careful phrasing favors neither earth nor faerie but paints evocative images of both. Dyer’s watercolors completely fill the pages opposite the poetry and offer bucolic settings of sunlit golds and nocturnal blues for the sturdy, round-faced children. Share this one-on-one to encourage appreciation of the delicate details, such as the snippets of illustrations pulled from the full-page spreads to accompany the text.” –School Library Journal
  • “. . .told with a stately tone and compelling melody. . Accompanying the poem’s quiet music like a fairy harp, Dyer’s vibrant and magical watercolors alternate between scenes of translucent twilight and golden eart.h . .this book’s enchanting spell.”—Publisher’s Weekly
  • “A well-developed rhyming text. . .delicate, detailed watercolors emphasize the ethereal nature of the fairy world and the vibrant life of nature above.”—Horn Book Guide
  • “I feel I have to tell you right up front—I am so in love with this book, I want every child and every family to own a copy.”—Chinaberry Catalogue

Available in both hardcover and paperback.