by Danny Garrett
As the narrative continues we are presented with a beautiful illustration. It is of Princess April with her constant blue companion, the butterfly, in a lovely wooded glen.
She stands in a bit of a clearing with a towering tree supported by sturdy roots. In the branches of the tree stands the owl that she is addressing. The owl is turned toward the viewer and he must have heard the princesses plea as he opens ‘one sleepy eye’. The overall scene certainly gives you a sense of scale. Generally owls are quite diminutive birds, but in this scene it is Princess April who is the diminutive one – she is even smaller than the butterfly. This image is a beautiful example of Letitia’s gifted hand at water-coloring. The earth tones are just inviting and present a lovely bucolic scene.
As is typical of a page containing a major illustration, the illuminations are a bit sparse. Space alone usually dictates this approach – with such a large illustration there simply is little room left for both the calligraphy and illuminations. The first illumination is just spectacular. It is of a beautiful castle with stars all about and flowers around its base. It signatures “Fairyland” and with it downward spilling stars takes up more that ¼ the height of the page. The only other illumination on the page is our now very familiar coronet over “Princess”.