The Roselil series

Book 1: Roselil and her friends,
Mallings 1995/Sesam 2006
Book 2: Roselil and the Flower War,
Mallings 1996/Sesam 2006
Book 3: Roselil and the Little Dragon,
Mallings 1997/Sesam 2006

Easy Readers:
Roselil and the Dark Shadow, Alrune 2006
Roselil goes to a party, Alrune 2006


Link to Roselil website (Danish)

Extract from Roselil and her friends
Extract from Roselil and the Flower War
Extract from Roselil and the Little Dragon
Extract from Roselil and the Dark Shadow
Extract from Roselil goes to a party
Author's comments

Roselil and her friends:

The flower fairy Roselil lives together with her friend Silkie Butterfly in Summerland, where they take care of the flowers and play together every day.
But one day their bliss is broken: A nasty stone troll from the Murky Mountains moves into the Marble Palace and turns everyone who comes close to it to stone.
Something has to be done - but how can little fairies, wood-trolls and elves take on a big, dangerous stone-troll?

Roselil and the Flower War:

One day winter comes to Summerland and when the sun returns, the old fairy queen is dead. A new one has to be chosen, but when the election starts, they're are suddenly two candidates.
The Flower War has begun and Roselil and Silkie find themselves once more trying to save Summerland. But it's really not an easy task for a fairy and a butterfly to remain friends in a time when everyone feels they can only trust their own kind.

Roselil and the Little Dragon:

The preparations for Summerland's big sun and moon festival are in full swing, but are disturbed when a fire-breathing dragon from the Murky Mountains suddenly takes up residence in the festival square. What does a dragon want here? And how can they get it to leave again?
Roselil knows that trust and kindness most often bring out the best in people – but does that also apply to big, nasty dragons?



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Extract from Roselil and her friends :

Sesam 2006

Once upon a time, there was a country called Summerland. The days here were full of birdsong and the scent of flowers. At night the elfin girls danced in the meadows by the white light of the moon. In Summerland, the winter only lasted a short time and before it, the autumn glowed with beauty like newly struck copper. When spring broke the winter chill after a few days, the fairies and elves woke up from their short hibernation and danced for joy that the sun had returned.
In the Flower Park in the middle of Summerland lay the White Marble Palace. From here, the wise king reigned over Summerland together with his good queen and their little daughter Princess Goldenhair.
Around the Flowerpark lay the Green Forest and, if you walked from the fringe of the forest along the stream and out towards the dunes overlooking the eastern sea, you would first walk over the blooming Elf Meadows and after that through Miry Marsh. On the other hand, if you walked westward from the Flowerpark, you would come to the Murky Mountains, but no-one in Summerland wanted to walk around in the Murky Mountains. There were trolls, dragons, witches and ogres living there.
Close to the eastern sea, but in a warm hollow just behind the outermost row of sand dunes, there grew a huge rosebush.
In this rosebush the flower fairy Rosa Spinosissima had her home. Every morning at dawn, Roselil, as she was known to her friends, got up from her soft rosebed to wake all the flowers and, as hundreds of beautiful pink roses opened towards the light and warmth of the sun, the rose scent spread on the breeze across the dunes.
Those days when the sky turned grey and it was building up to storm and rain, Roselil
made sure that the flowers closed in time, so the wind and the water couldn't damage the flowers.


Illustrated by Pernille H. Jensen

In the roots of the old rosebush lived Mr Mouse with his family. Mr Mouse was employed in the rosebush to take care of the rough work. He had to see to it that it was nice and clean around Roselil's home and that there were no uninvited guests, such as cats, foxes and magpies who could destroy the nests of the small songbirds and eat their eggs.
His wife, Mrs Mouse, took care of the cleaning and the kitchen, and their son, the lazy Karl Gustav, did nothing else except eat and sleep.



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Extract from Roselil and the Flower War :

Sesam 2006

Just once such evening, when they had come back home from the Flower Park, tired but happy, Silkie said, "I can't understand it. I was so cold this evening. I also feel much more tired than usual."
"You just need to get some sleep," smiled Roselil, putting an extra leaf around her friend before she herself lay down to rest.
When Roselil awoke, it was still totally dark. She was so cold that she was shivering and so she gave up trying to get back to sleep. She wrapped some extra leaves around her shoulders and climbed out of her sleeping rose to find out why it was so cold. When she stepped out on the green leaves beside the flower, she slid and had to hurry to open her wings so as not to fall down among the thorny branches.
She landed in the grass beside the bush in a confused state. It was completely white, stiff and cold. She touched the cold, white layer in wonder. It disappeared at her touch and the blades of grass became soft and green again.
Daylight slowly began to gain strength and she looked around. Everything was covered in the stiff, white dust. She looked up at her roses and gasped in alarm. The flowers hung limply down, as they did just before they lost their leaves. Usually there were just a couple at a time that withered, but now it looked like the whole bush was about to die, not only the flowers, but also buds and leaves.
In fright, she shouted into the mouse hole.
"Mr and Mrs Mouse, Karl Gustav, Frida! "Hurry out here. The most terrible thing has happened."
A moment later, the whole mouse family stood before her in nightdresses and nightcaps.
Mr Mouse fumbled with his spectacles and stammered, "But Ms Roselil, what has happened?"
Roselil was on the verge of tears.
"Look, all my flowers have withered! And look, the stiff, white frills have covered both grass and branches. Have the trolls bewitched all Summerland?"
Mrs Mouse looked around, a little confused. But Frida just smiled and put an arm around Roselil.
"Now, now, little miss. Just take it easy. It's just that autumn has arrived. I heard some old mice chatting about it. It's not at all dangerous."
"Yes, but… but all the flowers are dead! It's awful," sobbed Roselil.
"New ones will return. In a few days, winter
will be over. Then everything will once more be pale green and beautiful. Totally fresh and delightful. You don't have to be so unhappy. It will all be fine again."
Roselil looked at the mouse family, who smiled


Illustrated by Pernille H. Jensen

encouragingly at her. They all knew the stories about the infrequent winters.
Frida smiled and said, "And tomorrow it will certainly snow. Then we can toboggan and skate on the ice on the puddles. I've never done that before."
"But it's so cold," objected Roselil hesitantly.
"Yes, so come and get some warm socks and warm jumper," said Mrs Mouse and took Roselil with her into the dark mousehole, which was lit by swirling fireflies.
When she came out again, she wasn't cold anymore. She looked with interest at all the whiteness that sparkled like pearls and diamonds in the rising sun. She flew up to wake Silkie, but the blue butterfly slept so deeply that it was impossible to rouse her.
Anxiously, Roselil flew down again to Frida and Mrs Mouse, who were taking the opportunity to beat the carpets and quilts in the clear, frosty air.
"Oh, she'll wake up again when it gets warm. Butterflies hibernate in the winter, that's common knowledge," said Frida, beating so energetically on a carpet that she was up to her ears in dust.



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Extract from Roselil and the Little Dragon :

Sesam 2006

One lovely evening, just three days before the big festival, Roselil and Silkie were about to go to bed. It was a dark, moonless night, because the festival was always held on the third new moon after the turn of the year.
Roselil and Silkie had just got themselves comfortable in their flowerbeds, when Mrs Mouse and Frida came with their evening drink of warm rosewater and honey.
Roselil asked Frida eagerly, "What are you going to wear to the Sun and Moon Party?"
"Well, I've sewn a completely new dress. It's yellow with white flowers and …."
Suddenly, they all looked up at the sky. Far away over the Murky Mountains, a strange, red gleam of light shone in the dark night sky.
"What's that?" asked a frightened Roselil.
Everyone knew that nothing good ever came from the Murky Mountains.
Mrs Mouse clapped her hands over her eyes, but Frida, who always knew everything, replied eagerly, "That is something the old ones called 'The Dance of the Dragons'. I heard a story when I was little …."
Mrs Mouse interrupted her.
"Now let's not say anymore about that.
Come along Frida!"
Mrs Mouse hurried to arrange the flower quilts over Roselil's and Silkie's beds. She hurried Frida and was soon ready to go back down.
Silkie and Roselil looked at each other. They would love to know more about the odd light and they were sure that Frida still had much more to tell.
Silkie said quickly, "Oh, Frida, couldn't you just help me a little with my pillow?"
Frida well understood what Silkie and Roselil were up to and said, "Of course! You go down, mother-in-law. I'll just sort out the pillow, then I'll follow."
Mrs Mouse hesitated a moment, sighed and went down.
Frida began to tell the tale.
"Now then, I heard it from my father, who heard it from his old aunt. The dragons in the Murky Mountains sleep most of the time, but on rare occasions, they wake up and dance and spit fire."
Out of curiosity, Silkie asked, "Is there anyone here in Summerland who has ever seen a dragon?"
Frida nodded eagerly.
"Yes, the ancient spider who lives in the darkest part of the Flowerpark - she has seen everything!"
"Is she the one who weaves the magic web that fairy wings are made of?" asked Roselil carefully.
Again Frida nodded.
Roselil continued, "Then I know where she lives. It's rather creepy there."
"Why don't we go and visit her one day?" asked Silkie eagerly.


Illustrated by Pernille H. Jensen

Roselil shook her head, smiling. "No, I don't think we should. I'm not going in there again unless it's absolutely necessary. Oh my, look…"
The red glow flamed up again across the sky.
"Are dragons really dangerous?"
Roselil's voice shook a little when she asked.
"They're the most dangerous creatures in the world. They're enormous and so ugly that you can faint from just looking at them. They have huge leathery wings that can raise a storm and they smell so disgusting that you can't breath when you're close to them. But the worst thing is that they burn down everything around them with their flaming, stinking breath."
Silkie looked in wonder, and a little fear, at Frida.
"But how do you know all this, Frida?"
Frida crossed her arms over her breast and shrugged her shoulders.
"It's just something I know. Something everyone knows!"
"Well," said Roselil. "Not me! And now I'd just as well not know more. I'd rather talk about the party. Luckily, the dragons are over in the Murky Mountains and hopefully that's where they'll stay!"
Silkie couldn't resist asking one more time, "Do the dragons ever come over here to Summerland?"



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Extract from Roselil and the Dark Shadow :

Alrune 2002 (Easy Reader)

It's morning. The sun shines down on the large rose. Inside it lives a little fairy. Her name is Roselil. Every morning, she opens all her roses with a kiss. When the sun sets, they have to be gently closed again. She's sleeping but is soon woken by the golden sunlight. She gently touches the rose's petals. It opens and she sits up. By her side in the rose lies Silkie. She is Roselil's best friend. When Silkie wakes up, she says, "My goodness, how hungry I am!"
"Mrs Mouse will be here soon," replies Roselil with a smile. Mr and Mrs Mouse help Roselil to look after the bush. The green rosehips have to be polished until they become red. This is something Mrs Mouse is especially good at. Mr Mouse sweeps dead leaves together and keeps things tidy. His son Gus helps. Gus's wife Frida prepares the food along with Mrs Mouse. Roselil and Silkie like the nectar from the flowers best. Rose nectar tastes sweet. Nectar from clover is more spicy. They often get a mixture. But this morning, no-one arrives with the food. After a while, Roselil becomes concerned. She flies down to the hole by the roots where the mice live. Here she waves her fairy wand and imagines herself really small. In a trice she becomes smaller.
She knocks quietly on the door that leads into the hole. No-one answers. She listens and can hear someone crying. Without waiting for an answer, she goes in. Her wings are closed tight together. She doesn't want to get soil on them. Mrs Mouse sobs


Illustrated by Mai-Britt Schultz

loudly. Mr Mouse stands beside her. He is sad.
"What's happened?" asks Roselil.
"Our Gus has gone." Mrs Mouse sheds even more tears.
"When did it happen?"



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Extract from Roselil goes to a party :

Alrune 2002 (Easy Reader)

It's midday. The sun is high in the sky. Silkie Butterfly is bored.
"Shall we fly somewhere?" she says.
"Where to?" asks Roselil.
"Let's go over to the yellow house. I've never been there."
Roselil shakes her head. "The two old people live there. They don't like other people."
"We can always have a look in their garden. Come on!" begs Silkie.
"Okay then, but we have to be careful."
They fly away across the marsh. The water is black and deep. The white cotton grass nods in the breeze. The meadow is full of flowers. During the night, the green hillock is open. This is when the elves dance in the mist. They have good parties. Roselil and Silkie have been several times.
The house lies in a small garden. There's a tall hedge around it. The old lady goes around raking. The garden is really nice. The two old people look after it well.
Silkie flies in over the hedge.
"No," shouts Roselil. "You mustn't fly into the garden."
But Silkie is looking for adventure. Roselil sits in the hedge. She keeps an eye on her friend. The old lady can be very bad-tempered. She has injured several fairies and elves. Only those who live in the garden
are allowed to be there.


Illustrated by Mai-Britt Schultz

She spots Silkie. She strikes out at the blue butterfly with her rake. Roselil screams. The rake hits Silkie. One of the many sharp prongs rips her wings apart. She tumbles to the earth.



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Author's comments:

In 1989 I gave birth to a daughter and in 1991 a son. My two children have since had a big influence on what and how I write. When my daughter was about five, she was totally wild about elves, fairies, elf maids, mermaids, witches and trolls, but there weren't such a large number of books with that type of story at that time. So she and I agreed that we would have to produce some ourselves. My daughter created all the characters and their names and she was part of the whole process of writing the story of the rose fairy Rosa Spinosissima and her friends in Summerland. The illustrator, Mai-Britt Schultz, who has drawn the wonderful illustrations in the first editions of the books, showed the tolerance of an angel because all the sketches of the characters had to have my daughter's approval before they came through the eye of the needle.
In turn, Roselil and her friend Silkie have become a firm ingredient in many little girls' reality. Many have dressed up as the characters for fastelavn (a type of Danish carnival around Shrovetide).
It has been an unbelievably delightful and enriching process to compose these stories in close partnership with a child. My daughter has been a great help the whole way through, even if she has by now grown too big to be interested in the very gentle and poetic narratives.
In January 2006, Sesam published the books in a new edition, now with wonderful illustrations by Pernille H. Jensen.


Illustrated by Mai-Britt Schultz

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