As we approach the summer solstice on June 21, we can recall many literary classics inspired by and set around this time of the year . Fans of early British literature may think of Edmund Spenser’s intricately wrought poem “Epithalamion,” in which Spenser riffs on the classic Greek marriage songs. Epithalamium were originally written to be performed for a couple on their marriage night, but Spenser changes things up a bit by writing in celebration of his own marriage that he poetically sets on the longest day of the year: the summer solstice. For Spenser, the day seems eternal, as if he’ll never reach the long-awaited marriage night with his new bride.
Perhaps most famously, the summer solstice brings to mind William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which we see the world of humans and fairies collide in a whimsical drama that walks the line between reality and fantasy. Fairy king Oberon and queen Titania, with their troublemaking servant Puck, incite a chaotic struggle for love among the Athenians, only to convince them it was just a dream the following morning. Shakespeare melds references to a variety of belief systems, such as Greek mythology and English country folklore, and creates a world for the reader that is entirely new yet remains recognizable.
As we see in Shakespeare’s play, the solstice is a time when the division between the magical and the real becomes penetrably thin, enough so that fairies and humans speak the same language, walk the same ground, inhabit the same realms. At Bright Sky Press, the summer solstice brings to mind one of our own favorites: Rini’s Danielle & The Strawberry Fairies, an enchanting story that blends fantasy and reality when Danielle meets the fairies at Mr. McDerwood’s strawberry farm. As Danielle meets the fairy family among the strawberries, she learns something about her own family—something that changes the way she understands the world.
This summer solstice, bring fantasy into your everyday with Rini’s beautifully illustrated children’s book, Danielle & The Strawberry Fairies.
Bright Sky Press
Where Texas meets books fairies.