Kingfisher Days

Kingfisher Days

Book - 2002
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Random House, Inc.
A magical tale of friendship and wonder -- the perfect gift for the imaginative child in all of us.

One summer, in a hedge near her family’s cottage in Kenora, five-year-old Susan Coyne discovered an overgrown stone fireplace. Her father said it was the home of Uncle Joe Spondoolak, an elf who’d moved in after the cottage had burned down long ago. Susan, a fanciful child, decided to become keeper of the hearth, tidying it up and leaving little gifts for the elves: handfuls of wild strawberries, daisy chains, a tiny birchbark canoe. Overnight the gifts would disappear. One morning, there was a tiny piece of carefully folded pink paper wedged in between the mossy stones.

To Helen Susan Cameron Coyne: Greetings
Her Majesty, Queen Mab, has instructed me to thank you for making a home for all her people.


Thus began Susan’s correspondence with a precocious young fairy princess, Nootsie Tah, and her indoctrination into the world of the great and little people.

Susan took the letter next door to Mr. Moir, because he knew all sorts of interesting things. Sure enough, he had an entire library filled with books about characters such as Puck, Ariel and Oberon. The letters from Nootsie Tah continued, and that summer Susan developed two unique relationships: one with a proud princess from a mystical land, and the other with a gentle gardener with infinite wisdom and patience. These would sustain her throughout her life.

Publisher: Toronto : Vintage Canada : Random House, 2002, c2001
ISBN: 9780679312413
0679312412
9780679311331
Characteristics: 170 p. ; 19 cm

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JLMason
Sep 01, 2017

A nostalgic tale of an early 1960s summer at a cottage near Kenora experienced by a five year old, Kingfisher Days tells about young Susan’s special relationship with an elderly (and very literate!) neighbour next door who enchanted her by penning letters from a fairy princess. Today it’s hard to imagine someone taking the time to write such creative and beautiful little notes to captivate a child’s imagination, and to spend time with her planting pansies and playing out famous chess games. The author is actress/playwright Susan Coyne, big sister to columnist Andrew Coyne, who makes a few appearances as a precocious two year old. This is a quick read at under two hours, with the fairy princess notes (saved by her father) and Susan's notes (saved by her neighbour) comprising about 70% of the content.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 05, 2015

Canadian playwright Susan Coyne’s childhood memoir of the summer of 1963 is set at the family cottage in Ontario’s Lake of the Woods. Then a little girl of five, she was introduced to a world of literature and faeries by the grandfatherly man next door who took a shine to her. Both humorous and wistful, Kingfisher Days is truly heartfelt.

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