Tag Archives: bargain

The Promise

Nicola Davies, ill. Laura Carlin

Walker Books


September 2014


An affecting picture book for older children, well-received in hardback last year, and now in paperback.

The book is narrated by a boy growing up in a mean, hard and ugly city. He lives by stealing, usually pickpocketing on crowded streets. Then one night he tries to snatch a old woman’s handbag but she hangs on tight and will not let go until he has made a promise to “plant them”. He is expecting the fat bag to be full of coins. But when he opens it he finds only acorns. “I stared at them, so green, so perfect and so many, and understood The Promise I had made. I held a forest in my arms, and my heart was changed.”
He keeps his promise and travels from city to city, planting the acorns. Slowly they flourish and the cities become lively, colourful places once again.
Finally, on arriving in a new city where his planting was yet to start, “in a lonely alley, a young thief fought me for my sack of acorns. I smiled and made the old bargain, knowing how a heart can change, knowing that my planting will go on…”

Not a particularly seasonal book, but foll of genuine Christmas spirit. A book author, illustrator and publisher can be proud of.