First published in Sweden in 1914, "The Flowers' Festival" by Elsa Beskow was translated to English and published by Floris Books in 1991.
Ms. Beskow is immensely popular with Waldorf homeschoolers largely due to her focus on nature, *wholistic* writing style, and connection with the elementals. She is wildly imaginative and her gentle stories nourish our children's beings.
"The Flowers' Festival" is a sweet story about a little girl named Lisa, who lives with her grandmother in a cottage at the edge of a wood. The two are surrounded by a beautiful garden full of flowers, vegetables, and meadows. On the day of the Midsummer Dance, Grandmother leaves Lisa for a short time. Lisa gets to spend her midsummer with the many flowers she had planted while her grandmother tidied up their cottage.
Soon, Lisa notices that the flowers seem different somehow, almost as if they are trying to talk to her. She hears a sweet voice call her name, looks up, and meets the Midsummer Fairy who tells her about the party the flowers have on this special day and that they want Lisa to come, too! The Midsummer Fairy places poppy-juice onto Lisa's closed eyelids so that she becomes invisible (so as not to frighten the flowers).
The festival begins. The remainder of the book consists of meeting several lovely characters from all sorts of plant life - flowers, vegetables, even weeds. There is a bit of a scuffle between the flowers/vegetables and the weeds, until they work it all out. For the festival, they all gather round and tell sweet short stories, until they eventually fall asleep to the sound of a singing frog.
Lisa, too, falls asleep and her grandmother lovingly carries her into the cottage and that is the end!
This is a wonderful read to celebrate Midsummer! My girls particularly enjoyed the beautiful illustrations and the short stories told by the various birds, who were the storytellers.
Very sweet book - which also comes in a mini-edition (though I'm not sure if the text is the same or modified)! This review is for the full-size version of this classic book :D