Once upon a time in Fairy Land, the Blue Fairy went to a ball. All the fairies were dressed in their most beautiful clothes, singing and dancing and chatting happily while all around them floated little trays full of tiny cakes and pies and fruit juices.
The next day the Blue Fairy took her children to her friend the Writer Fairy’s house, and while the Writer Fairy set off to her writing shed at the bottom of the garden, the children played together. The Blue Fairy sat on a toadstool and sipped rosebud tea, thinking of the lovely time she’d had the night before.
And in the shed, the Writer Fairy wrote of fairies in ball gowns made of the softest flower petals and shimmering fabrics, the delicious food and drinks served in the finest fairy-gold goblets, and the Writer Fairy got so carried away that some of her magic slipped into the pages, settling here and there among the words.
Many years later in Human Land, it was half-term and raining and three children: James, Kerry and baby Lily were very bored.
“Let’s go to the bookshop,” said James.
“Good idea,” said Kerry.
“Giggy goo,” said the baby.
So they put on their wellies and set off.
At the bookshop the baby looked at a book about shapes and colours, James read about dinosaurs but Kerry kept searching. Fallen behind a shelf she found a strange old book about a fairy ball. Kerry sat down and started to read:
‘The food at the ball was truly splendid, there were cherry pies and chocolate drops and the most delicious raspberry juice in golden goblets-’
Suddenly two golden goblets floated into the air.
“Ooh!” said Kerry and took one and sipped its ruby red drink. “Delicious! Raspberries!” She drank from the second goblet too.
“Look James, look at these tiny magic goblets,” she cried but when James looked up they’d disappeared.
“Don’t be silly,” James said and went back to the dinosaurs.
Kerry looked around.
“I must have imagined it,” she thought but she could still taste the sweet raspberry juice.
She shrugged and carried on reading:
‘…the Blue Fairy wore a gown of blue ripples and streams, covered in sparkles-’
Kerry blinked. The tips of the fairy’s wings had just moved on the page.
Kerry peered at the fairy. The wings flickered again! Then they lifted off the page and with a slight whoosh the Blue Fairy came out of the book and fluttered before Kerry.
“What have you done?” the Blue Fairy asked crossly. “Why am I here?”
“I- I- don’t know,” stammered Kerry.
“What magic have you used?” the Blue Fairy demanded.
“I don’t know any magic,” said Kerry.
“You must send me back at once,” the Blue Fairy said. “I’m supposed to be looking after some little children.”
“But I don’t know how to,” Kerry wailed, frightened for the poor children.
Kerry thought for a moment.
“The golden goblets disappeared after I drank the raspberry juice,” she told the Blue Fairy. “Maybe if I did something with you, you’d disappear too, and go back to fairyland?”
“Maybe,” said the fairy. “How about a dance?”
“Oh yes!” said Kerry. “I’ve never danced with a fairy before.”
“It’s easy,” said the Blue Fairy and they held hands and jigged about for a while.
Unfortunately, when they stopped, nothing happened.
“I know,” said the Blue Fairy, “Let me grant you a wish.”
“Oooh!” said Kerry. “Thank you! Well, that’s easy; I’d like a beautiful dress, please, just like the one you wore to the ball!”
The Blue Fairy waved her wand.
Make Kerry a dress, and let it be blue.
Make it silky and sparkly and swirl and swish!”
Sparks sprayed from her wand then she disappeared. Kerry looked around for her new dress, but there wasn’t one.
“What a shame her magic didn’t work,” she thought. “I hope she got back alright.”
She went back to the strange book, but it was time to go.
“Mummy gave us some money to buy books,” said James. “Have you two chosen something?”
“Goo, goo, gumps!” said the baby, and they bought her the colours and shapes book.
James bought himself the dinosaur book and of course, Kerry bought the Fairy Ball book.
They went home and had lunch and then it was time to rest. Mummy took the baby for a nap and James went to his room to play. Kerry went upstairs. As she opened her bedroom door she stood and stared: her room was filled with sparkly blue light.
Slowly she went in, and hanging from the cupboard door was… a beautiful blue dress! A fairy dress! It glittered and shimmered, and when she put it on, it was the softest floatiest dress she had ever worn.
She wore it all afternoon, and she even had it on when she went downstairs at tea time.
“Where did you get that?” Mummy asked.
“Er… umm… from a fairy who came out of my book,” she said.
“Oh not that book again!” grumbled James. “Tell her to stop fibbing Mum. There’s no such thing as a magic book!”
But Mummy was suddenly very interested.
“What’s the name of the book?” she asked.
When Kerry told her, she started to smile.
“You’re a very lucky girl to have found that book!” Mummy said. “It’s meant to have magic in some of the words which makes them come alive when you read them! But it only ever happens once for every child.”
Kerry was very excited. There were loads more words she hadn’t read yet. After the holidays, she practised her letters very carefully and soon she could read more words in the book, and now and again she came across a magic one and she’d find a tiny fairy cake or a delicious fairy-berry or she’d meet a little fairy who would grant her a wish and disappear in a shower of pretty sparkles. After some time she’d read the whole book and every time she reached the special words, she felt their magic and remembered her adventure all over again!