Hamilton County, Indiana. Author Sarah E. Morin will be launching her second book, Rapunzel the Hairbrained, in association with Nickel Plate Arts’s popular Fairyville event April 18-21.
Morin has been involved with Fairyville for six years and helps run the tea parties. “I’m delighted with how much Fairyville has grown over the years. When I first started, I think a hundred people stopped by to do crafts and listen to my fairy tale poetry. Last year, around 800 guests hit the Fairyville Trail, took part Fairy Friday evening events, or pulled up a toadstool at the tea parties. Nickel Plate Arts has achieved astounding growth.”
Morin’s writing career has also grown side-by-side with Fairyville. “It fits me perfectly. I write unruly fairy tales – classic tales with new twists. I am extremely grateful to Nickel Plate Arts and [Director] Aili McGill for the opportunity to partner with them. In 2015 I launched a twisted version of Sleeping Beauty called Waking Beauty at Fairyville. It’s a novel for teens and adults. I specifically wanted to write a fairy tale for children next.”
The result is “Rapunzel the Hairbrained,” a picture book for elementary grades. The first section puts a new spin on the classic tale through bouncy rhymes and lively illustrations. The second half features discussion questions that challenges girls, with adult mentors or without, to consider what traits girls should really value in a world where so much emphasis is based on appearance. At the end, readers write a fill-in-the-blanks fairy tale starring themselves and their unique talents.
“It’s meant to be funny, but it’s also meant to challenge,” says Morin. “Rapunzel is raised to think of nothing but her hair, so it’s hard for her when suddenly she’s supposed to rule a kingdom after she marries her prince. She’s completely unprepared. What happens when we raise girls in our own society to only value their looks? My book encourages girls to value both their outer and inner beauty.” The book and its themes will be explored this summer at Page & Stage Drama-for-Literacy Camp at Logan Street Sanctuary and hour-long interactive workshops Morin is hosting around the county for girls in grades 3-5. The first five of these are free thanks to a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission.
The grant also helped Morin hire an illustrator, Taylor Lucas. “I was immediately drawn to Taylor’s style,” says Morin. “It’s sleek, whimsical, and most importantly, it doesn’t speak down to fifth graders, the oldest grade I am targeting. Taylor was a joy to work with. He often had ideas of his own that were better than the instructions I could give. For me, a good illustrator doesn’t just do what the author tells them. They interpret the words into images with skill the author doesn’t have.”
Lucas will be joining Morin as part of the Friday events on April 20, 6-9p, when they teach guests to put their own unique twist on fairy tale plots and character design. They’ll be selling and signing copies of “Rapunzel the Hairbrained.” The book is available on Amazon.com but will be discounted as part of the Fairyville event.
The book is only one part of Fairyville, which includes Aili McGill’s own children’s book, “The Owl and the Pussycat Went to Sea,” a special appearance by comic book artist Stuart Sayger featuring his winged wonders, fairy music, fairy houses along a trail in downtown Noblesville, crafts by Caravan Classes, and tea parties. The theme of this year’s tea parties is “Fixing Fractured Fairy Tales.”
Morin explains the premise, “The idea is I am Queen Sarah, an expert on fairy tales. I will be reading the guests a new book I have written, “Rapunzel the Hairbrained.” Real live fairies join us for snacks, a craft, and to listen in, because of course, fairies love fairy tales. However, they notice there aren’t any fairies in Rapunzel. So they sprinkle a little fairy dust on a book of fairy tales. But instead of just adding fairies, now all stories are mixed up. Together with the guests, we have to sort them out so everyone gets a happy ending.”
The tea parties are offered April 18, 19, and 20 at 2:30p and 4:30p, and April 21 at 10a, 12p, 2p, and 4p. Tickets are $10 for non-members or $5 for members and are available at http://nickelplatearts.org/signature-events/welcome-to-fairyville/ or by calling 317-452-3690. Tea party participants and those who attend the Friday evening event will receive $2 off the retail price of Rapunzel the Hairbrained and a $20 coupon for Page & Stage Summer Camp, a drama-for-literacy camp which will feature fairy tales.
Order Rapunzel the Hairbrained on Amazon.com.
Nickel Plate Arts website: http://nickelplatearts.org
Sarah E. Morin’s author website: https://sarahemorin.com/
Taylor Lucas’s artist website: http://taylor77902.wixsite.com/cyancityzone
This project is made possible by the support of the Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency.