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Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties: A Practical Guide by Miss Edythe McFate Paperback – September 11, 2012

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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

LESLEY M. M. BLUME spent much of her childhood sitting in the backyard, willing fairies to appear. She has authored five children's novels for Knopf, including her latest: The Wondrous Journals of Dr. Wendell Wiggins: Describing the Most Curious, Fascinating, Sometimes-Gruesome, and Seemingly Impossible Creatures that Roamed the World Before Us. 

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1020L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375854932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375854934
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #819,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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 By twinzmom on 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 By E. Kristin Anderson on December 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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 By Midwest Book Review on November 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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By Sheila on November 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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. But did you know that magical creatures are even closer than that? According to Miss Edythe McFate, they don't just live in nature but in our homes, businesses, and cities. Miss McFate has followed mythical creatures for almost all her life and has extensive knowledge of these ancient beings. She was kind enough to write a guide for us with her new perspective.

This book provides an account of eight children and their completely true and terrifying encounters with fairies. Miss Edythe explains how to avoid these problems and how to recognize a fairy and whether they are good or bad. Miss Edythe has her reason for writing this guide in the first place. You see, she was one of the eight stories she tells in the book and since no one believed her, she had a need to show the rest of the world that fairies do exist. And she provides plenty of evidence to support it.

This is a really wonderful book filled with imagination. The reason I loved it so much is that it shows modern fairies in everyday life. The Spiderwick Chronicles were also about modern fairies, but they were located in the countryside far away from urban life. This book changes all that by documenting truly urban living fairies. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys fantasy books and stories about fairies. It will provide you with a fresh perspective on fairies and everyday life. Perhaps you have one living near you!
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