Brian Froud and Terry Jones, Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Journal (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 1999)  
 

Not to be confused with Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book, the Journal was inspired by the same material. Written by Terry Jones (of Monty Python and Labyrinth fame), and illustrated by Brian Froud, the Journal gives us a year's worth of fairy fun, frolics, festivals, holidays, celebrations, parties, and history.

Worry not, for no fairies were harmed in the production of this book, even though a great many of them appear flattened and squished on the pages. See, what they've left are -psychic- impressions, and the whole thing is actually something of a fairy sport. So you don't have to feel sorry for them.

The Journal is a lovely little book, filled to bursting with the same whimsy and artistic genius that has marked all of Froud's fairy paintings, as well as the same humor that's marked each collaboration between Jones and Froud. More days than not have been noted as holidays. January 26th, for instance, is the End of the Fifth Quarter of the Ninth Dozen of the Thirteenth Set. February 2nd is Wand Dedication Day. April 13th is Squashing of Moonhopper Day. April 19th is the Bandages and Lozenge-Sucking Competition (though Bandage-Sucking is banned, for obvious reasons of taste).

August 24th is Rumpleskunkskin's Wedding (a goblin celebration), and August 25th is the fairy celebration of Rumpleskunkskin's Bride Escaping To Heerwigoland.

And so forth, for the better part of the year. Silly, playful, tongue-in-cheek, and so very fun. Between the humorously-named holidays, and the frequent footnotes explaining the origins of said holidays, and the lovely Froud artwork, this is a nice little treat for any fairy or Froud fan.

Best of all, if you were so minded, you really could use it like a real journal, to write in. The days of the week aren't included, so it can be used for any year you like. So whether you want to celebrate Sunbeam Sliding Sunday, First Fiddle of the Month, Welsh Fairies Bonnet-Hurling Competition, or even Distribution of Charity Monkeys (strictly Imps only!), they're all here for you. Now see if you can get your boss to let you have August 10th off for the Day of Wandering. No Froud fan should be without a copy or three of the Journal.

[Michael Jones]