Hairy Phil Finds Fairy Hill
by Tish Quigley

"Phil’s plan was ingenious; he knew it just couldn’t fail.
And as the wind started blowing, he hoisted the sail"

A race of kind, hirsute humanoids known as the Hairies are facing an urgent crisis: their island is sinking under the weight of all of them, sending the citizenry in a panic. One Hairy known as Phil sets out on a raft to try and come up with a solution to this impending catastrophe. Tossed about at sea and shipwrecked in a storm, Phil washes up on a strange beach that he quickly realizes would be perfect for the Hairies. Unfortunately for Phil, the island is already occupied by a group of Fairies who distrust Phil and send him to see the King immediately. The King banishes Phil effective the next day, but the Fairy people discover that their island is starting to drift away, and Phil might be the only thing that can save them.

At its heart, this is a story teaching children about acceptance, particularly of others that appear different or come from different places. Though he is large and intimidating in size, Phil is only ever inquisitive, considerate, and compromising, whereas the Fairies are immediately distrustful and hostile toward Phil. Both groups have an issue that requires immediate action, and it is only by cooperating and co-existing that either the Fairies or the Hairies can continue to survive. With rhyming prose and soft illustrations, the reading of this book could be difficult for younger children, but the presentation is ideal to be read aloud by a parent or teacher. The morals are clear but not driven in, making for an organic story that can then be discussed at its conclusion. This brief fable is full of charm and useful wisdom, earning a spot in the hearts of its audience organically.

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