The Woman Who Turned Children into Birds

By David Almond

Illustrated by Laura Carlin

A powerful and uplifting tale about freeing the imagination from master storyteller David Almond.

She made her marks. She whispered her words. Then she said, “Go on. Be happy. Up you go." When Nanty Solo comes to town, she says she can turn children into birds. The parents are skeptical, but the children want to fly. And before very long, everyone does. A celebratory, lyrical story that will make your heart and imagination soar. Written by internationally acclaimed author David Almond and brought to life in glorious uplifting paintings by award-winning illustrator Laura Carlin.

Categories: Picture Books

For readers aged: 4+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781406307115
  • Published: 06 Oct 2022
  • Price: £12.99
  • Size: 235 x 280 mm
  • Pages: 32

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Customer reviews


'A beautiful, whimsical, heart-lifting picture book by a writer who makes words soar and an artist with an elegant, unconventional style, about defying rules and daring to fly.' Sunday Times

'Almond, as ever, champions flights of the imagination.' Sally Morris' children's books of the year, Daily Mail

'The haunting childlike illustrations by Laura Carlin add to the mysteriousness of it all.' Evening Standard

'a sliver of Nanny McPhee and a strong shadow of Roald Dahl’s favouring of the child view over the cynical adult, this is a beguiling treat. Part fable, part celebration of the limitlessness of childhood imagination, Carlin’s ever-shifting illustrations build an ethereal mood' The Best Children's Books of 2022, The Big Issue

'The story captures the soaring freedom of imagination, alive to all children, too precious to be forgotten. It’s so beautifully told, the words sparkle, and Laura Carlin’s illustrations are magnificent.' Juno

'The gentle moral of this story is that it is never too late to search for the things that make you happy in life. Every page is filled with colorful, soft-focus sketches that perfectly compliment the text.' SLC Reviews

'Carlin's mixed-media illustrations employ a childlike style that features simple shapes, indistinct borders, and effective use of color. [...] While the story details may disturb some, Almond's lyrical text and intriguing ideas offer much food for thought.' Booklist

'With hints of Roald Dahl and P.L. Travers, Almond’s brief, electrifying tale champions defying convention and embracing risk.' Publishers Weekly

'If you have ever wondered what it might be like to fly, just like the birds all around us, to see the world from you above, to sprinkle a touch of magic into your life then The Woman Who Turned Children Into Birds will be the book that you will fall in love with.' Armadillo Magazine

'Full of playful language, there’s a fable like feel to David Almond’s tale and Laura Carlin’s wonderful mixed media illustrations show an aura of light surrounding each transformation as it occurs. A story to revisit over and over with the possibility of new meaning emerging with each reading.' Red Reading Hub

'gently and stubbornly idealistic about the spirit ready to soar within every child.' Just Imagine, Favourite Books of 2022

'It’s like being given an idealistic tale that’s secretly been wrapped up in a puzzle-box, and the wrapping is glorious.' Just Imagine

'Featured in the October Previews' The Bookseller

'This extraordinary masterpiece, interwoven with subtle layers of meaning, is beautifully adorned with Carlin’s unmistakable mixed-media illustrations. It is a true classic that leaves an indelible mark, resonating with its harmonious rhythm and cohesive storytelling.' Books for Keeps

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