I bought a copy of The Light Princess by George MacDonald at work the other day because it is one of my favourite fairy tales. It's beautifully, cleverly written and it has stuck in my imagination since the first time I heard the story (because my mom read it to me before I read it myself). The edition I bought has the delicate Maurice Sendak illustrations, and it's small and light and the color of butter. Reading it again, I loved it even more. I decided to order a handful to press upon my friends, but was dismayed to discover that there were none to be found in our distributor's warehouse.
I may have to find some used copies, snatch them up, and stash them away to be handed out in moments when gravity has crushed all the laughter out of everything.
This is the sort of story that makes me boggle at people like the customer who told me that she didn't want fairy stories or books with magic in them for her children because they aren't about real things. Silliness and laughter and resentment? Love and humor and sorrow? What kind of real world do they live in, people like that? It must be a bland one.