Friday, 25 February 2011

Book review: The Gift

By Carol Ann Duffy and Rob Ryan
Published by Barefoot Books

After falling in love with Another Night Before Christmas, I knew that I had to find anything that had ever been created by the joint efforts of Carol Ann Duffy and Rob Ryan.

When a poet and a paper-cut artist meet, magic ensues!

The Gift narrates the tale of a little girl who, while collecting flowers in the woods one day, comes across a plot of land so beautiful that it makes her wish she could be buried there when she dies. No sooner than this strange thought crosses her mind, an old woman appears. In exchange for the girl’s flower necklace, she promises that her wish will come true. A moment of distraction and the older lady has vanished.

Was it just a dream? Carol Ann Duffy and Rob Ryan conjure up sweet words and images to tell the story of a girl who becomes a woman, a wife, an artist, a mother, a grandmother. A girl that, despite all the changes in her life and all the responsibilities that her ever-changing roles require, never stops cherishing the plot of land she once found in the woods.

A delicate account of the cycle of life for all ages with illustrations so detailed and extraordinarily beautiful that you’ll wish you could trace their intricacies with your fingertips.

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