Bijal Vachharajani and Rajiv Elpe
Harper Children's
November 15, 2023
Final Verdict

About the Author

When Bijal Vachharajani is not reading a children’s book, she’s writing or editing one. Chief picture book dreamer at Pratham Books, she’s the author of multiple planet-friendly books including Savi and the Memory Keeper and A Cloud Called Bhura. Her books are perfect for raising awareness about the world and its deteriorating state among kids.
Other Works By Bijal Vachharajani and Rajiv Elpe
So You Want to Know About the Environment
A Cloud Called Bhura
Savi and the Memory Keeper
Help! My Aai Wants to Eat Me
Puppy Trouble

A Fairytale Set in Dystopia: When Fairyland Lost Its Magic by Bijal Vachharajani & Rajiv Elpe

Jainand Gurjar reviews When Fairyland Lost Its Magic by Bijal Vachharajani (published by HarperCollins, 2023).

Once upon a time, there was a fairyland with enchanted oceans, forests, gardens, and everything beautiful, with a hint of evil, which, through the course of the tale, leads to a happily ever after! That’s how fairytales are, right? But what happens when everything changes, and nothing remains as fantastical as imagined? What will happen when even the fairyland faces the effects of climate change and climate crisis, something more evil than the wizards and witches, something that even the princesses couldn’t control with their wonder, magic, and magic dust?

What will happen to the story when Rapunzel can’t maintain her hair, forcing the prince to wait endlessly? Or when Snow White becomes No White because, well, Snow, what’s that now? But who has caused this calamity, and will the people of the fairyland be able to find their happily ever after, or would it become happily ever after? Read the book to solve the problem.

Dystopian Realities and Magical Lessons

Bijal Vachharajani has very cleverly crafted the story. The amalgamation of various fairytales into one with the onset of climate change and its effects has to be one of the most unique things to think of. The way it has been executed with the writing style, characters, and illustrations in each of the chapters is captivating, humorous, thought-provoking, and, to an extent, guilt-provoking as well. I think that’s the aim of the book, and it successfully achieves it.

Bijal Vachharajani

The sharply detailed illustrations hold more than one could see at a glance and humour that doesn’t look very humourous because of how well it portrays the brutality of human evil and greed. Evil and greed not only deteriorated but also discarded and destroyed the environment. And it is equally, if not more, destroying humans, fairies and wildlife, making it a dystopia that one could have thought only in the evils of the folktales! The author and the illustrator deserve all the appreciation for it and a pinch of Fairy Dust (which you will know why after reading the book).

This book is meant to make readers think of their actions more consciously and believe in magic again: the magic of nature and carefully curated actions that can make them feel the magic of their surroundings again.

Favourite Quote from When Fairyland Lost Its Magic by Bijal Vachharajani

Once upon a time, a child opened a book.
Another child read a book.
Yet another heard as her grandmother
Told her a story from a book.
One child heard it in school.
Many heard it in a library.
As did another.
And another.


I highly recommend Bijal Vachharajani’s When Fairyland Lost Its Magic to everyone. Readers above ten should read it for the concept it portrays. Still, because of the story’s universality, themes, emotions, actions, and repercussions, this is an essential read for everyone. It also shows why the book won the KLF Children’s English Book Award 2023-24, a well-deserved recognition.

Jainand Gurjar

Jainand Gurjar

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *