The closing of a Storybook in Second Life

Storybook Forest, March 2020

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be very intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

– Albert Einstein

I opened my 2018 travelogue for Nessa Zamora’s (Noralie78) Storybook Forest back in September 2018 following our visits to the Lost Unicorn regions (read more in Opening a Storybook in Second Life). Part of this quote is also used as an introduction to the region, so given news has come that the the Forest is shortly to close to make way for a new design, it seemed a fitting piece with which to open this piece.

Storybook Forest, March 2020

Designed by Noralie78, Storybook Forest is an utterly bewitching place that, if you’ve not visited before, you really, really, should before the end of day on March 3rd, 2020 (I’d have given more warning, but only got word myself following the Lost Unicorn post giving notice of the closure being published on March 1st). The design stands as a marvellous homage to fairy stories and a delight to all who still love the fables and tales they may have heard in childhood days or have enjoyed reading to their own children – or who simply like reading; while for photographers and explorers, it offers something to smile at around every corner.

This is a place where ornate, rounded castle towers rise from the surrounding trees while paths wind between tree trunks and under a canopy of wide-spread boughs; where exotic plants grow and sunlight dapples the glades and falls across the waters of a small lake. From the outset, it’s clear the is is a place where the imagination can be set free and the magic of books and tales has been given leave to run as they will – and we can run with them.

Storybook Forest

So it is through this winding path, passing from castle to castle, from glade to tower, that visitors may find Peter Pan pointing the way forward, Mary Darling standing below, even as Captain Hook, Mr. Smee and Tiger Lily row past on the nearby waters, a certain crocodile inevitably in tow. Deeper still are opportunities to gather with a group of dwarves, as Snow White lies under glass, the victim of the Wicked Queen’s apple, or to sit with Alice, a white rabbit and chap with an affinity for hats to partake of afternoon tea, while a lost boy wades the shallow waters of the little lake, gazing in wonder at the pile of books that rise from is midst.

Nor is this all; every turn in the path awaits the opportunity to offer a new childhood memory: Bambi and his mother, Cinderella, Snow White… the list goes on, and I’m not going to spoil things by mentioning all who are given a role within this forest.  And as well as these glimpses of childhood tales, Storybook Forest offers many places where visitors can sit and allow memories wash over them or have their imagination take flight – or rest their avatars while their camera roams through the woods, seeking out details that might otherwise be missed.

Storybook Forest, March 2020

And details there are indeed, from dedications to read through quotes from stories to places where a little interaction can be enjoyed, such as at the harpsichord sitting atop Cinderella’s tower. Even some of the characters have some unique aspects too them – take a look at the seven dwarves gathered around Snow White’s glass casket, for example! All of this is offered with a special dedication from Noralie, offered to all that wander Storybook Forest’s enchanted paths:

To the boy or girl who reads by flashlight
Who sees dragons in the clouds
Who feels most alive in worlds that never were
Who knows magic is real
Who dreams.

This is for you.

Storybook Forest, March 2020

As noted, Storybook Forest will be around until the end of of March 3rd, so make sure you capture any memories you wish to have of it before then. I confess, I will miss it once it is gone; it is a magical place. However, while it may soon pass into memory, so too are we given the promise of something new to follow – and so I look forward to returning and seen what new fruit has come forth to replace it.

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