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Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties: A Practical Guide by Miss Edythe McFate [Kindle Edition]

Lesley M. M. Blume , David Foote
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Perhaps you think fairies are figments of the imagination, or even relics of an ancient past. You may even think all fairies are lovely winged creatures, who dance in bluebell fields, granting wishes to anyone who should encounter them. 
You would be wrong on all counts. 
Fairies are very much alive today, and they are everywhere—in our cities, our backyards, and even our kitchen cupboards. Some of them are indeed the sweet-tempered, winged creatures of folklore, but the fairy family also includes goblins, trolls, brownies, and other strange creatures, some of which are revealed to humans in this book for the very first time. While many fairy breeds are harmless, others can be quite nasty or even dangerous.
In this luxuriously illustrated guidebook, preeminent fairy expert Miss Edythe McFate shares her knowledge of the modern fairy world and includes practical advice on matters such as how to tell a good fairy from a bad one, how to spot a “fairy ring,” how to tell the difference between dwarves and trolls (one species isfar deadlier than the other), and how to defend against fairies who would do you harm. Also included are eight true cautionary tales about children who have encountered fairies in ultramodern New York City.
You would be wise to read closely, lest you find yourself in your own fairy encounter, for as Miss Edythe McFate reminds us, “Forewarned is forearmed.”

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-8–Miss Edythe McFate's guidebook, “as told to” Blume, gives advice and answers to various questions about fairies, dwarves, goblins, etc. She also tells eight “true” stories set in modern New York City about children with fairy sight. The first tale is about the historic Algonquin Hotel, which for years has been the home of brownies until a new owner takes over. Olive, the daughter of the hotel chef, must help them relocate before Mr. Rex Runcible ruins them. In another tale, George sees a door in the Lincoln Tunnel that leads to a secret tunnel where dwarves pick rubies off trees. He decides to take one and turns into an old man. Miss Edythe McFate sagely warns that one should never steal from fairies. One of the later tales is about an ugly mermaid who can't sing very well. She convinces the girl to help her catch the attention of the Staten Island ferry captain with disastrous consequences. Blume's conversational narrative style is both entertaining and informative, if often on the darker side. Foote's expressive, black-ink illustrations haunt every page and add to the magical feel of the book.Samantha Larsen Hastings, Riverton Library, UT
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

About the Author

LESLEY M. M. BLUME spent much of her childhood sitting in her backyard, willing fairies to appear. These days, she is an author and journalist based in New York City. Her books for children include Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters, The Rising Star of Rusty Nail, and Tennyson, which the Chicago Tribune praised for its “brilliant, unusual writing.”
You can learn more about her at
DAVID FOOTE envisions the world through a fantastical black-and-white looking glass.
He is a fine artist, filmmaker, and animator who left his hometown of Caracas, Venezuela, at eighteen to study at the Parsons School of Design in New York City, where he currently lives. Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins & Other Nasties is his first children’s book.
Visit him on the Web at

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 10068 KB
  • Print Length: 258 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B009I70KU6
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 14, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003F3PKAY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #569,439 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Staten Island fairies September 20, 2010
The term "urban fantasy" gets bandied about a bit these days. If you're unfamiliar with it, basically it just boils down to the idea of placing normally pastoral fairies in the big bad city. You get a lot of urban fantasies on the young adult and adult fiction side of things. Gritty streets + fluffy fairies = new genre. It's strange to think that few have ever extended this idea to the younger ages. Urban fairy picture books are few and far between and chapter books? Even The Spiderwick Chronicles sets its modern day tales of fairies in the countryside rather than in the grimy urban streets. Lesley M.M. Blume aims to change all that. Her newest book delves deep into those aspects of New York City where folks might not expect to find the extraordinary (say, the Lincoln Tunnel) and give the grit some magic. Even the most countrified kid will find something to love about this truly metropolitan fare. It's a doozy.

When one strays into a foreign land, it is advisable to have a native guide on hand. But what do you take with you when the foreign land in question is your own backyard? For that, you will need to turn to an expert. And the expert in the case of city fairies and their kin is Miss Edythe McFate. With great relish, Miss McFate shares with the reader many helpful tips and tricks on dealing with fairies. And not just any fairies, mind, but the ones that have adapted to large city centers like the heart of New York City itself. In this book, a reader will encounter eight short cautionary tales (some more cautionary than others) and, between those chapters, practical advice regarding fairies and their day-to-day lives.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LITTLE SCARY, BUT AWESOME September 28, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic! I started reading it, just to make sure mit wouldn't give my kids nightmares, and I couldn't put it down. Now I'm reading it aloud to my kids in the evenings. They are really enjoying it and no nighmares so far. I'm skipping the one about the goblins for the kids just to be safe. It is so vivid and well written. 5 stars!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
WARNING: Fairies are not sweet creatures who live in flowers and grant wishes. Pixies aren't cute like Tinkerbell. Dwarves may be miners, but they aren't about to make friends with a sweet lady visitor. In Lesley M.M. Blume`s latest book for young readers, MODERN FAIRIES, DWARVES GOBLINS, AND OTHER NASTIES, we learn all about the danger that is the world of fairies, and many of the children who have -- for good or bad -- wound up involved in the fairy world.

Part short story collection and part field guide, MODERN FAIRIES is delightfully dark. Narrated by Miss Edythe McFate, the book takes place in the various boroughs of New York City -- from a Brooklyn back yard to Central Park to the Lincoln tunnel, it seems that fairies have migrated to New York from all over the world, just like the people who inhabit one of our most diverse cities. This would have been very useful to me when I lived in New York, a few years ago. I always knew there was a reason I disliked the Lincoln Tunnel -- dwarves have their secret underground mines there. Should a child enter these mines, through one of the many, mysterious brass doors lining the tunnel, he absolutely shouldn't try to steal from the dwarves. This can only lead to his demise. And while I didn't have a back yard when I lived in Brooklyn, it is apparent that fairy rings do occur in this part of the city, and they are certainly something to watch out for. Flower fairies aren't necessarily the kindly folk you'd suspect -- and you should always be careful what you wish for.

Flower Fairy illustration by David Foote

I loved the story of the nasty Destinatus twins who played perfect piano, only to be foiled by resident libretto fairies at Carnegie hall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A whimsical fun survey ages 8-12 will relish November 20, 2010
Lesley M. M. Blume's MODERN FAIRIES, DWARVES, GOBLINS & OTHER NASTIES: A PRACTICAL GUIDE BY MISS EDYTHE MCFATE comes from a 'fairy expert' who shares knowledge of the modern fairy world and includes practical advice, such as how to tell a good fairy from a bad one. Eight tales of fairies in the modern world - including the Big Apple - make for a whimsical fun survey ages 8-12 will relish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars take a walk on the wild side June 18, 2011
Wonderful, imaginative, and bewitching, these stories will have you keeping an eye on shadows and spiderwebs. Very exciting and well-written.
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5.0 out of 5 stars New Favorite July 29, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My 7 year old daughter is way into fantasy (or maybe real! :) creatures like fairies, dragons, etc. This book tells you all about a few different kinds of fairies and related creatures, which ones to stay away from, which ones that are helpful, and what signs to look for to see if they have been around. My daughter is now a walking encyclopedia of fairies! Its so fun to hear her educate us about the different creatures she has learned about. This has become her favorite book, and she carries it around with her everywhere. It is written with a lot of humor, I found myself getting a little sucked into it before I gave it to her. Very happy with our purchase :)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic, darkly humourous stories with wickedly brilliant illustrations. Makes me wish there were fairies in MY house!
Published 2 months ago by TLF
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh.
The title and artwork drew me in, but I was disappointed pretty quickly with the content. The techniques the authors used to "modernize" the fairy world seemed to take a good bit... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Charlie R
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
This is on of those books that really makes you want to believe in fairies and other mythical creatures. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Broncos_Lover11
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book.... I guess
It is a good book I am a real fairy believer myself so ya I think it is a good book.
Published 17 months ago by Tiffany Larcom
3.0 out of 5 stars Certainly different
You may have heard about magical creatures in far, exotic and distant lands. Or maybe you believe they live even closer to home, scattered throughout the countryside. Read more
Published on November 4, 2012 by Sheila
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and fun
This is not your average fairy book. The stories are well told, impeccably written and beautifully illustrated, but if you are looking for a cutesy kiddie book you are way off... Read more
Published on October 18, 2012 by Angela Alvarez Velez
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting"Guide"
This is an amusing "guide" to fairies and other related species. Miss Edythe McFate (a.k.a Lesley Blume), well-versed in the art of studying fairies, tells the reader everything... Read more
Published on October 11, 2012 by Black Plum
3.0 out of 5 stars It was neither here nor there
This book seemed to waver between presenting Fairy folklore and trying to be a children's storybook. Read more
Published on July 3, 2012 by stacia b
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More About the Author

Lesley M. M. Blume is an author, journalist, columnist, and cultural observer based in New York City. She did her undergraduate work at Williams College and Oxford University, and took her graduate degree in history from Cambridge University, where she was a Herchel Smith fellow.

Ms. Blume has authored three critically-acclaimed children's novels for Knopf. Upon the release of her third novel, Tennyson, reviewers and critics placed her in the same class as writers Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, and Truman Capote ("Brilliant, unusual writing."--The Chicago Tribune). Ms. Blume's first collection of short stories, Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties, was published on September 14, 2010.

As a journalist, Ms. Blume began her career at The Jordan Times in Amman and Cronkite Productions in New York City. She later became an off-air reporter and researcher for ABC News Nightline with Ted Koppel in Washington, D.C., where she helped cover the historic presidential election in 2000, the 9/11 attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and countless other events and topics.

Now writing full-time, Ms. Blume covers culture, media, politics, and fashion (and sometimes the thorny politics of fashion). Her work has appeared in many publications, including Vogue, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, and The Daily Beast, among others. She co-created and served as founding editor of The Window, Barneys New York's online fashion and culture magazine, where she remains editor-at-large; she is also The Huffington Post's longtime contributing style editor.

On November 1, 2010, Chronicle Books released to great acclaim Let's Bring Back, a book by Ms. Blume based on her popular column of the same name for The Huffington Post. Starting in 2012, Chronicle will release a series of topic-specific editions of Let's Bring Back, as well as a line of ancillary products.

Ms. Blume lives in Greenwich Village with her husband and their French bulldog, who was a featured character in Ms. Blume's bestselling book, Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters.

Sadly, most of her heroes and heroines are dead or fictional. They include but are not restricted to: Diana Vreeland, Marlene Dietrich, Isak Dinesen, Katharine Graham, Zero Mostel, Royal Tenenbaum, the Marchesa Casati, Oscar Wilde, Elsa Schiaparelli, Anthony Blanche, Flora Post, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lee Miller, Edith Wharton, and Collette.

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