Fairy Picture Books for Younger Readers
Fortunately, we can turn to older books, which offer us a few delightful possibilities!
Absolutely the best picture book to read in one sitting about an actual fairy that I know is A Fairy Went A-Marketing, from the poem by Rose Fyleman (pictures by Jamichael Henterly). The pictures are lovely; the text is brief and charming; and they make a wonderful combination for any fairy lover!
Another option is the original Flower Fairy books by Cicely Mary Barker. You've probably seen the recent take-offs on these books, but what I recommend is the originals: Flower Fairies of the Spring, Flower Fairies of the Summer, Flower Fairies of the Autumn and Flower Fairies of the Winter, plus several other titles. Each book contains a series of fairy portraits and short poems about seasonal flower, plant and tree fairies. These aren't as accessible to very young children as a story might be, but for 4- to 8-year-olds, they're lovely, and the small format (think Peter Rabbit-size), is just right for smaller hands.
Not about fairies, but likely to appeal to the fairy-loving set are Jill Barklem's Brambly Hedge books, which include stories for each season plus The Secret Staircase and Sea Story. Brambly Hedge is a community of mice and the occasional other small creature, living underground and inside trees. They have balls and picnics and adventures of various kinds, and they are illustrated most delightfully by Barklem herself, who apparently made most of the foods, baskets and other natural creations in the story (to make sure they could really be made) before drawing them!
--Recommended by Polly, Children's Librarian