Times Children’s Book of the Week 25 Sep 2021
New York Times Best Children’s Books of 2021
“Never tells the lie that nothing bad can happen — death and tragedy get their due — but the story, as well as Sophie Blackall’s lustrous pencil illustrations, lingers in the bright places of work and discovery, illumination and beauty and, above all, love, which in these pages can fix all things, even the broken past, not by making them magically whole again but by existing and being true.” New York Times
“The fairy-tale conventions give it a sense of timelessness and omnipresence without once becoming twee or unwieldy. Blackall’s luminous black-and-white illustrations and medieval-style spot art add to this feeling and are wonderful at conveying emotion through posture, pose, and delicate linework. A book with an angelic soul: large, sharp, and uncompromising.” KIRKUS
“Tenderly illuminated by Caldecott Medalist Blackall’s atmospheric, fine-lined b&w art, this compassionate tale rejoices in “the wonder of being known,” the protective powers of understanding one’s identity, and the strength found in the hard head of a beloved goat.” Publishers Weekly
“Blackall’s black-and-white pencil drawings and ornamented initials convey a medieval setting, while DiCamillo’s elegant, honed prose weaves a beautiful tapestry of true friends, a feisty goat, and a road to a castle where destiny will unfold.” Horn Book
In a time of war, a mysterious child appears at the monastery of the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. Gentle Brother Edik finds the girl, Beatryce, curled in a stall, wracked with fever, coated in dirt and blood and holding fast to the ear of Answelica the recalcitrant goat. As the monk nurses Beatryce to health, he uncovers her dangerous secret – one that imperils them all.
And so it is that a girl with a head full of stories must venture into a dark wood in search of the castle of a king who wishes her dead. But should she lose her way, Beatryce knows that those who love her – a wild-eyed monk, a man who had once been king, a boy with a terrible sword and a goat with a head as hard as stone – will never give up searching for her. And to know this is to know everything.
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