Cover of The Fairies' Ring by Jane Yolen

Fairies’ Ring, The

Retellings of classic folk stories about fairies–from Scotland, Wales, Ireland, England, Brittany, Persia, South Africa etc. I had long wanted to do such a volume, and had presented the idea to many editors, but was always turned down. Then after I’d done the Moses book (“Prince of Egypt”) for Dutton, the editors asked me to do this collection because they had a brilliant British artist they wanted to work with. A true labor of love, mostly written and researched in Scotland at the St Andrews’ University library. The Mackey illustrations are astonishingly beautiful. Note that the publisher sprung for gold as a fifth color. I included my already written version of “The Faery Flag” story in the collection.

What reviewers have said:

  • “This elegantly appointed collection … retold with an ear for reading aloud or storytelling …” — Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books
  • “If your library can purchase only one volume, Yolen’s Fairies’ Ring delivers the most for the money. Yolen includes poems and retells stories from all over the world. The tales range from a Maori story about a wife who is stolen by a fairy king to a slightly risque Persian tale in which a human refuses to return the clothes of a trio of bathing fairies until one consents to be his wife. The poems and stories are put together in a beautiful volume notable for its handsome design and Stephen Mackey’s art. The richly colored pictures, which are sophisticated in subject and execution, also have a hint of the folk-art style that works well with the stories.” — Booklist boxed review
  • “Yolen (Child of Faerie, Child of Earth) heralds the seductive charms of fairyland in this volume of stories and poems, masterfully illustrated with Mackey’s (Cat Up a Tree) mystical oil paintings. Mackey’s work calls to mind Pre-Raphaelite paintings and fairy paintings made popular during theVictorian era. In textured oils, at once earthbound and ethereal, he capturesthe romance, humor, mystery and drama of the poems and stories. Showcased infull- and single-page illustrations as well as cameo-shaped vignettes,Mackey’s artwork shifts as magically as the fairy world itself from dark, brooding landscapes to fairy celebrations to humorous depictions of the feyfolk.” — Publishers Weekly
  • “…a book that will enrapture children of any age. The poems are mostly just a page or two in length; the stories a few pages longer. Nothing goes on too long, so it’s easy to read a handful at one sitting — the perfect companion for bed-time reading!”– Rambles online magazine
  • “…the ambiance is a great mixture of familiar and unexpected. . .who could ask for more?”—Chicago Tribune