Did the events in the Spiderwick Chronicles really happen? Do you believe in fairies? Are the Grace children real?

Holly Black and I received these questions often while we promoted the Spiderwick books and film. While we both created the story of the Grace children and the fantastic world they discover, it was based on real events.

Both Holly and I believed in the existence of fairies as children. While working on the Spiderwick stories we researched many historical accounts of interactions with the fey-folk (like “The Secret Commonwealth” as started by folklorist Robert Kirk and released as “The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns & Fairies” by Andrew Lang) as well as listened to detailed recollections by children and adults who claimed to have seen into the Invisible World. These accounts, by contemporary children, inspired the note at the beginning of the chapter books and the story of the Grace children.

As an adult I learned that there is energy in all living beings: humans, animals, plants and microorganisms. I also know that there is much that we cannot comprehend with our limited five senses. After all, the average dog can hear and smell far beyond the average human. I, therefore, believe the possible existence of energy formations that we cannot sense except in the rarest of circumstances. Some may see ball of light, a ghost, a will o’ the wisp or even a fairy. The mystery continues to intrigue me to this day.

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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.