Literature: The Fairy Rebel

The Fairy Rebel is a children's novel by Lynne Reid Banks, author of The Indian in the Cupboard. It's a classic fairy story, filled with magic and wonder... except that the person who meets the fairy is a married adult.

Jan and Charlie are a Happily Married couple, except that they can't have children. When Jan is relaxing in her garden one day, a fairy, Tiki, lands on her. Tiki's different from other fairies—she wears jeans instead of a frilly dress, expresses wonderment about tears and sadness, and vows to help Jan and Charlie have a baby—all things, especially the latter, that are against the rules of the Fairy Queen.

Tiki and her friend Wijic succeed in producing the child, who is given a 'fairy name', Bindi. Bindi, too, is different—she has a tuft of blue hair amidst the brown, and she receives magical presents every birthday. For seven years, the family lives peacefully.

But the Fairy Queen won't let this defiance go unpunished...

This book contains examples of:

  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Fairies seem to pick a color and stick with it. Tiki has pink and green and Wijic has red, both for clothing and for the type of flowers they're associated with.
  • Evil Matriarch: The Queen sends fairies babies to raise. God help you if you try to manage it yourself.
    Queen: Of course they love me! It is my first command that they love me!
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Wijic, to a degree. He hates all the sweet food fairies eat and thinks of normal schoolboy life as a fascinating, novel experience.
  • Language Equals Thought: Implied for the fairy society. Their language is missing many words for concepts the Queen doesn't want them to latch onto, including boredom, loneliness, and all familial terms except "baby". Not always effective, as Tiki certainly feels lonely when she's jailed in the wasp's nest; she just didn't know the proper word for it.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Fairies can make their own clothes just by thinking, but Tiki only knows how to make blue jeans or frilly dresses; nothing in between.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Wijic, weirdly enough, writes his own name differently from the narration. When he signs his name on the rose petal, it's spelled with a K.
  • Sweet Tooth: Jan, Tiki and Bindi all like their sweets. All three are rather chubby.
    • Fairies as a rule seem to eat and drink sweet things like nectar. Wijic is notable for being completely sick of it.
  • The Tragic Rose: A wilted rose is the first sign that the Fairy Queen has noticed Bindi's existence and taken offense to the situation.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Bindi's blue hair is magic.