News and Interviews

Make-believe and Melodrama Create Comedy in the New Picture Book, The Only Lonely Fairy

Interview with Lana Button, text over pink background bordered by vibrant texture and author photo

Make-believe and melodrama collide to create a heartfelt comedy in The Only Lonely Fairy (Pajama Press), the new picture book by Lana Button, illustrated by Peggy Collins. A story about emotional growth at a pivotal time in a young person's life, exasperated by the prevalent outside concerns of recent years (including pandemic lockdowns), and other timeless challenges that they face.

Our protagonist, Leah, only wants to find a friend to play "fairies" with her, but nobody will join her. She's left alone to read her fairy tales, and is so upset by it all that she almost can't hear a quiet voice in class that keeps trying to get her attention.

With vibrant, humourous illustrations, the story gives readers an empathetic look at a young person trying to connect, but just slightly missing the mark. It's an important portrait of a pint-sized drama queen who jumps off the page, but also yearns for friendship and doesn't always quite know how to take a deep breath and look for those other young people who are trying to find a way to ask the simple question, "Do you want to play?"

Check out this interview with the author, Lana Button, as part of our Kids Club - Books for Young People interview series


Open Book:

Tell us about your new book and how it came to be.

Lana Button:

My new picture book is The Only Lonely Fairy, published by Pajama Press and illustrated by the wonderful Peggy Collins. In this funny story, full of kindergarten-sized melodrama, Leah laments that she is the only one without a friend to play with. If only Leah would turn around! Because there is a fairy-loving friend right behind her who is quietly trying to get her attention. 

This is a fun examination of the social-emotional skill of making friends. I wanted to write a companion read to Percy’s Perfect Friend (Pajama Press) where a shy child is also learning the art of entering play. Young audiences will delight in pointing out that this classroom of friends appears in both stories.

When looking at both books, children can acknowledge that, although we have unique personalities, we all deserve to feel included. 

The Only Lonely Fairy by Lana Button and Peggy Collins

The Only Lonely Fairy by Lana Button and Peggy Collins


Is there a message you hope kids might take away from reading your book? 


I hope that this story makes children giggle. I hope that it makes them feel seen, realizing that they are not the only ones who have felt that no one wants to play with them. I am an early childhood educator who sees incredible value in providing children with opportunities to use social skills in play, and to use books in social-emotional learning. I wrote The Only Lonely Fairy to encourage imaginative play and to inspire children to take another look around the room, take a deep breath, and say those magical words, “Do you want to play?” 


Is there a character in your book that you relate to? If so, in what ways are you similar to your character and in what ways are you different?


Leah was so much fun to write because she is all-drama! I admit that I see myself in this pint-sized drama queen who tends to lean on the overreact button. But in this story, I also want to connect with those kids who battle with tempering big emotional reactions. Although I used a humorous approach to the situation (and Peggy Collins did a spot-on job capturing all the drama that is Leah!) I understand that the emotional roller coaster can often feel like a bumpy and unpleasant ride. I hope that this story acknowledges big feelings and encourages children to take a breath and take another look at the situation. Working through social challenges allows children to develop valuable skills in managing their emotions and developing a healthy identity. 


What do you need in order to write – in terms of space, food, rituals, writing instruments?


Once I have a story fully formed, I turn to my laptop. But I start out scribbling story ideas on blank paper. I am most creative when cursive writing with a yellow HB pencil. My favourite tool is my electric pencil sharpener.  


How do you cope with setbacks or tough points during the writing process? Do you have any strategies that are your go-to responses to difficult points in the process?


I keep cards and emails close at hand that I’ve received from children telling me that my book has helped them. And that makes me want to write more books about resilience, social-emotional challenges and overcoming anxiety. I keep reviews I’ve received from parents and educators who’ve said that my book has helped them to help a child. No matter how hard things get, I know that at one point, I wrote a book that made a child’s day a little bit easier. And it fuels me to want to do that again.


How, if at all, does social media feature in your writing process?


I am a social person and I love to connect with parents, librarians and teachers who are looking for books for children. And so, I do consider social media a great tool for introducing my stories. It can be a fun and creative way to express how my books might help a child. 

In addition to being a writer and an early childhood educator, I’ve always been a performer, with a background in acting. Posting on social media is a fun and creative outlet for me. And the bonus is that it often leads to connection and conversation with the people who read my books out loud to children. So, please look me up! I’d love to connect with you!


What are you working on now?


I am working on a few new stories in various stages of publication. I am already excited for the start of a new school year with the release of my next book, See You Later, Alligator! (Scholastic Canada) illustrated by Noe´mie Gionet Landry, which is a funny story about separation anxiety at the school gate.

And, I have a funny chapter book series I am currently writing. I can’t wait to share book #1 coming out next year, called Brianna Banana, Helper of the Day (Orca Books). 


Lana Button is a children’s author, educator, and entertainer who is passionate about supporting and encouraging children through entertainment. Lana began writing following a career in television and theatre. Her books, including Willow Finds a Way, have been shortlisted for the Blue Spruce Award, The Shining Willow Award, the Jean Throop IODE Award, the Rainforest of Reading Award, and more. Lana lives in Burlington, Ontario.

Buy the Book

The Only Lonely Fairy

Make-believe + melodrama = comedy as one dramatic little girl learns the new skill of finding a friend

Leah is looking for a friend to play fairies. But when her invitation fails to sway her classmates, Leah is left all…ALONE.

Poor Lonely Leah! Will she always be the only one standing alone in line? The only one reading fairy tales in the book corner? The AGONY of her SUFFERING is so overpowering that she almost misses the quiet voice trying to get her attention…

From the creators of Percy’s Perfect Friend comes an entertaining new journey into social-emotional growth. Author Lana Button is an early childhood educator who has seen firsthand the struggles many kids experience learning to navigate social situations and conflict—especially if pandemic lockdowns were part of their early lives. In The Only Lonely Fairy, she tells a relatable story of someone trying to make friends and missing the mark, while Peggy Collins brings lively humor to the illustrations, letting readers know what Leah doesn’t yet: that she isn’t alone after all.