I fell in love with this book even before seeing a finished copy, having watched the two sisters give a presentation about it at a Spring & Summer Highlights event back in April. Read my blog account…
The story draws on classic picture books and fables the sisters loved as children, as well as stories told by their Polish grandmother on winter nights.
The snowy cover, the cold grey silver-birch end papers, the delicate colours of the illustrations and the quality of the production overall combine to mark this out as a very special picture book indeed, and one with seasonal appeal. If I were a bookseller I’d be stacking this high and prominently in full expectation of it selling well.
‘This is in one sense a classic English lonely-child-and-garden story, in the tradition of Frances Hodgson Burnett and Philippa Pearce; in another it’s a ghost story; in another it pays tribute to the dark-sinister-house genre most famously seen in Hitchcock’s Psycho. But it’s also a story of friendship and courage and of the power of black-and-white images. I think it’s terrific.’ – Philip Pullman
ACHUKA saw early mockup of this book when we visited David Fickling in Oxford a couple of summers ago. Wonderful to see the project come to fruition.