By: Valerie Milano
Hollywood, CA (Hollywood Today) 2/21/2013 – From the Golden Age of Hollywood emerges a beautiful fairy tale written and illustrated over 70 years ago by Letitia Fairbanks, niece of silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Mary Pickford. Princess April Morning Glory has finally been published in large part to Letitia’s step-daughter, Kelley Smoot Garrett, and her husband, Danny Garrett, as well as the Fairbanks family.
The Fairbanks family held a beautiful launch party and Hollywood Today was there, on Saturday, February 16th at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel which was fitting, as it was also the place Letitia’s mother first met with Mr. Pascal Coviei of Viking Press about the publication of Princess April Morning Glory in February of 1941. In attendance were family members and friends of the family as well as many personal artifacts including photos, letters, and Letitia Fairbanks’ original copy of Princess April Morning Glory.
Letitia Fairbanks’ story, written in commemoration of her late uncle, is centered on “the brave and courageous Princess April who must first transcend darkness and evil before she can realize her true potential. Intrigued by the Great World and its sense of adventure, a young Princess April decides to abandon the familiarity of her home in Fairyland and undertake a voyage into the unknown…But returning home proves more difficult than at first she realized. In order to go back to Fairyland, a friendly wizard informs Princess April that she must first accomplish three good deeds.” (www.princessapril.com)
Not only is Princess April Morning Glory a beautifully written fairy tale with a wonderful moral, it is also visually beautiful. Letitia Fairbanks, an accomplished author and artist up until her passing in 1992, used detailed calligraphy and watercolors to illustrate her book. Unfortunately, the immense detail and lack of technology in the 1940’s made Princess April Morning Glory impossible to mass reproduce.
At the time of Letitia Fairbanks’ passing, her step-daughter, Kelley Smoot Garrett, even though she had no knowledge of the publishing process, promised to publish Princess April Morning Glory. However, the technology needed was still not possible in the early 1990’s. When the computer technology was finally readily available, Danny Garrett took on the challenge of restoring the art in the book and preparing it to be mass produced. After a meticulous 13 months spent digitally restoring, the art was ready for publication. The granddaughter of Letitia Fairbanks, Amanda Millner-Fairbanks then acted as copywriter for the book.
After many years of patience and dedication, Princess April Morning Glory has finally arrived and is available for purchase on www.princessapril.com.