Walker Books are renowned for publishing not only great stories, but also producing some beautiful books. Their books are a pleasure to hold, touch, look at and read and you want to have them on your bookshelf to read whenever you want. Two of their recent publications are new additions to my bookshelf – East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Jackie Morris and Mysterious Traveller by Mal Peet, Elspeth Graham and P.J. Lynch.
East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Jackie Morris
An extended version of the Norwegian fairy tale, set in the 21st century.
From the moment she saw him, she knew the bear had come for her. How many times had she dreamt of the bear… Now, here he was, as if spelled from her dreams. “I will come with you, Bear,” she said. It is the beginning of an extraordinary journey for the girl. First to the bear s secret palace in faraway mountains, where he is treated so courteously, but where she experiences the bear s unfathomable sadness, and a deep mystery… As the bear s secret unravels, another journey unfolds… a long and desperate journey, that takes the girl to the homes of the four Winds and beyond, to the castle east of the sun, west of the moon.
This is a wee gem of a book that you can carry around with you wherever you go. Jackie Morris’ gorgeous watercolour illustrations are sprinkled amongst her magical fairy tale retelling. I love the smaller format of the book as it’s easier to share, but you don’t loose the magic of the illustrations. It’s the perfect book for those young and old who love folk tales and fairy tales.
Mysterious Traveller by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham, illustrated P.J. Lynch.
A moving and beautifully researched story about camels, lost princesses and the strength of wisdom and knowledge.
This is the second tale in a trilogy from acclaimed storytellers Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham. This tale begins with a disgruntled camel, desperately trying to protect a little baby from a violent desert storm whipping up all around him. He is rescued by Issa – the desert guide – who takes the child in, naming her Mariama. She becomes Issa’s family and, as he begins to lose his sight, his eyes. Many years later, a mysterious stranger arrives at their doorstep, a stranger who will change both their lives for ever.
Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham are gifted storytellers who have woven a touching tale. I’ve always loved P.J. Lynch’s illustrations and his illustrations for this story are absolutely stunning. Like Mariama is the eyes for Issa in this story, P.J. Lynch is the eyes for the reader, creating an image of the characters and showing us the beauty of the land.