The Land of Stone and Flowers: A Fairy Guide to the Mythical Human Being

The Land of Stone Flowers by Sveta Dorosheva
Sveta Dorosheva: The Land of Stone Flowers
The Land of Stone Flowers by Sveta Dorosheva.

With so many books to choose from, and new stock coming in all the time, we're keen to make sure our customers see all of our favourites. We've decided to delve into the pages of some books we think are extra special, so you can see them close up. First on the list is The Land of Stone Flowers by Sveta Dorosheva

A New Kind of Fairy-Tale

This marvellous book turns the world of classic fairy tales upside down. In each chapter gnomes, pixies and fairies do their best to understand the strange, and supposedly mythical, world of human beings which they call The Land of Stone Flowers. Most of the time the fairies get things hilariously wrong, making this an endlessly entertaining read.  

Sveta Dorosheva: The Land of Stone Flowers
All the different kinds of humans... according to fairies.
 

The subversion of the traditional fairy-encyclopedia genre is what makes this book so interesting. By reversing the roles of humans and fairies Dorosheva gives her readers an exciting, fresh perspective on the fairy world they’ve read so many stories about, while also poking a bit of fun at human life.

What is a Human Being? 

Sveta Dorosheva: The Land of Stone Flowers
The fairies find the human world incredibly strange.
 

The fairies do their best to tackle the different aspects human existence, adding their own unusual twist to every subject. In the section on human anatomy they claim that the soul is located in the throat, that humans have frogs in our stomachs which croak when we're hungry, and that our hearts have wings which flutter when we're nervous.

The fairies also try to translate common turns of phrase, such as "kick the bucket", "barking up the wrong tree", or "to cry over spilt milk". By their estimation crying over spilt milk is a ritual used to generate powerful magic which will rectify all of a person's mistakes... if only. 

Illustration Inspiration 

This book is full of stunning illustrations. Sveta Dorosheva is a Ukrainian artist based in Israel. A lot of the inspiration behind her work comes from myths, legends and fairy-tales from all over the world.

Print: Kay Nielsen - from 'The Princess of Whiteland'
Kay Nielsen print from The Princess of Whiteland.

In many of the illustrations Dorosheva plays with the styles of some of the great illustrators of children’s literature. The images of gnarled, twisted trees hark back to Arthur Rackham. The tall, gangly figures which appear throughout this book greatly resemble those found in the work of Harry Clarke and Kay Nielsen.

Sveta Dorosheva: The Land of Stone Flowers Arthur Rackham was known for gnarly trees just like these

Playing with Classic Styles

Dorosheva also plays with other styles of art. For example, when the fairies talk about human clothing, the images bring to mind Art Deco fashion illustrations from the 1920s. The swirling floral patterns that appear on almost every page look like they could’ve come right out of an Art Nouveau painting by Alphonse Mucha.
George Barbier illustration
1920s fashion illustration by George Barbier. 

Dorosheva always adds her own contemporary twist to this mixture of styles, whether it's a pair of bold sunglasses on a gnome or a set of sky-high platform shoes on a fairy. The result is a book brimming with beauty and whimsy that you could happily flick through for hours.

Sveta Dorosheva: The Land of Stone Flowers

The fairies discuss human art and fashion.

Something for Everyone 

Because of the intricate mixture of styles and the amusing twist on classic fairy-tales there is something for everyone to enjoy in this book. Fans of Golden Age illustration will love seeing the ways Dorosheva plays with and reimagines these classic styles.

Sveta Dorosheva: The Land of Stone Flowers

Dorosheva mixes loads of different illustration styles. 

The fantastical elements throughout this book make it perfect for anyone who likes reading myths, folklore or legends. Although it isn't a fairy story in the traditional sense The Land of Stone Flowers offers readers a unique perspective on the fairy world. Usually we are on the outside looking in, but in this book you'll find out just what the fairies think of human beings.

A Fresh Perspective  

Sveta Dorosheva: The Land of Stone Flowers

 This book gives us a sneaky peek into the fairy world. 

Half the fun of this book is reading all the things fairies don't understand about humans. These mistakes can be read as Dorosheva poking fun at just how strange and nonsensical human existence can be. 

By looking through the eyes of fairy creatures we get a fresh perspective on our own world as well as the occasional sneak peek into theirs. The observations these fantastical beings make on our world bring a much needed dash of magic and mystery to our everyday lives, especially now that we're going through our third lockdown.The Land of Stone Flowers subtly reveals the hidden beauty and humour of human life. The Land of Stone Flowers by Sveta Dorosheva

Buy The Land of Stone and Flowers here. You can explore our full fairy-tale range here

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