cover image The Fairies' Ring

The Fairies' Ring

Jane Yolen. Dutton Books, $24.99 (96pp) ISBN 978-0-525-46045-9

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. The selections present a wide range of fairy lore from the British Isles, Greece, Persia, New Zealand and southern Africa and include such classics as W.B. Yeats's ""The Stolen Child,"" William Allingham's ""The Fairies"" and the Scottish folktale ""Thomas the Rhymer."" Some of the pieces describe fairyland as an idyllic escape from the rough-and-tumble of everyday life, while others warn against the dangers of fairy kidnappers (Ben Jonson's ""Queen Mab,"" the Maori tale ""The Stolen Wife"") and fairy kisses (""The Faery Flag"" from Scotland). Mackey's work calls to mind Pre-Raphaelite paintings and fairy paintings made popular during the Victorian era. In textured oils, at once earthbound and ethereal, he captures the romance, humor, mystery and drama of the poems and stories. Showcased in full- 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 fey folk. All ages. (Oct.)