Introduction to the midgrade novel "The Fairies of Nutfolk Wood" including an excerpt from the book.
After Willa's parents' divorce, Willa and her mom find themselves starting fresh in the country town of Plunkit. Catching a glimpse of a sparkle by the creek and in the old woods, Willa knows there's something unusual about her new surroundings. And her older-than-old neighbor, Hazel Wicket has an amusing story about an imagined family of tiny people that inhabit a tree stump.
Willa knows there's no such thing as fairies, but when she spots more and more oddities, she can't stop wondering if there's some truth behind Hazel's curious tales of the fairies called Nutfolk...
"The Nutbone stump sat in the middle of a natural clearing. I stood gazing at it, staring as hard as I could stare, trying to see the mystical house that Hazel had described. The arched door, the green shutters, the cunning balconies, the tiny people. I looked sideways, and through my lashes, but to my huge disappointment, the stump remained just a stump."
It was after writing a nice paragraph about my mom for mother's day. When the local newspaper printed it, someone told me that it brought a tear to her eye. I thought, what power-to create emotion out of thin air! I was hooked.
From a kid, of course! My daughter was making little glue-gunned people out of acorns and calling them nut-babies. The nut-babies lived in the woods, in a beautiful, hollow stump. Although the nut-people were magical beings, they were not showy or theatrical (like some fairies).
They are totally made up. But they are made up of bits and pieces of my kids, my self, my husband, my mom, and lots of people.
I gathered ingredients from all these places, and threw them into the mix. Then I gave the characters real problems, so the fantasy was grounded in reality. It was more believable that way.
Jacket artwork © 2006 by August Hall