Books explore good, evil

Faeries of the Night: Good and Evil

By Deborah Choszczyk

Faeries of the Night is one of the most creative books I have reviewed in this column. It’s a picture book designed for children ages 7 to 12, but it’s also an activity book.

Deborah Choszczyk’s journey to creating this book began with her love of dance in all forms. She’s been a dancer since age 5 and is now a dance instructor. She has taught dance in many different places, including at Northern Michigan University and Lake Superior State University.

Long before she thought of writing a book, Choszczyk created a ballet in 1999 that told the story retold in this book. The book itself is the result of performing the ballet—or at least creating scenes from the ballet in the forest and cave depicted in the ballet’s storyline and then photographing the scenes to be the book’s illustrations.

I can just imagine the work involved in this process. Choszczyk created the ballet and wrote the text for the book, but she also hired another enthusiastic young dancer, 16-year-old Lindsay Morel, to be the book’s photographer. In addition, she found several young dancers to dress up as the various fairies, goblins, pixies, wood nymphs and the dragon that appear in the storyline. She also had to make arrangements to have the settings photographed. The scenes were photographed with permission at the Piers Gorge unit of the Menominee River State Recreation Area and at the Iron Mine of Iron Mountain in Vulcan, Michigan. Plus, costumes and other props were needed. The props really impressed me, especially in one scene when the pixies present as gifts items they have stolen from humans to the faery king and queen—these include a spoon and a cookie, both made to be enormous in size to emphasize the faeries’ small stature.

By Tyler Tichelaar

To read the full story, please pick up a copy of this months Marquette Monthly at one of our distribution outlets.

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