Froud, the leading fairy authority, interprets the ancient and mystical runes of Celtic and European origin through Elfland, a world of fairies and myth, through 24 never-before-seen paintings.
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Brian Froud is an award-winning illustrator, author, and Faery authority. His books include international best-sellers such as Faeries, with Alan Lee; Lady Cottington's Pressed Faery Book, with Monty Python's Terry Jones; Lady Cottington's Fairy Album; and The Faeries Oracle. He also served as the conceptual designer on Jim Henson's films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Froud resides in Devon, England, with his wife and son. Ari Berk is an artist, poet, and teacher of mythology, folklore, American Indian studies, and medieval literature. He has published works on rune lore, faerie stories, the Wild Hunt, landscape and myth, and many other topics. Dr. Berk is a professor of literature at Central Michigan University.From School Library Journal:
Grade 7 Up-If runes are the keys to Faery, this book is an Open Sesame. For each rune, Berk tells a brief story (borrowing from traditional myth and tale), often ambiguous and fragmentary, and then evokes the sign's significance and associations. The stories suggest mystical meanings and the sections on significance also tell stories, and urge participation ("seek a place of stone under the waning moon"). The 24 runes govern human activities: journeys, exchange, joy, loss, fate, memory, etc. Berk explores etymological links, origins, and natural correspondences. Life lessons, folk wisdom, and psychotherapy all play a role in this user's guide, and if the approach is a trifle portentous and highly poetic, readers are expecting no less. The pictures are classic Froud: a fistful of Arthur Rackham, a measure of Pre-Raphaelites, scattered seasoning from other 19th-century illustrators. (One painting is a clear Millais-Rossetti homage.) The palette is subdued, with a few touches of ruby or lapis adding glow to the greenish cast of the faery world. Each rune has a full-page heraldic illustration and a couple of elvish creatures forming the letter's shape with their bodies. It's all great fun and Froud fans will be ecstatic.
Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI
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