The Wild Swans (2021)
Inspired by Hans Christian Anderson's classic fairy tale, this is a beautiful, dark and dangerous coming-of-age story from the extraordinarily gifted writer and illustrator, Jackie Morris
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A girl loses her beloved brothers when they are turned into swans by her wicked stepmother. She embarks on a vital quest with one purpose: to find them and turn them back into boys again.
But the task is complicated. She must pick nettles with her bare hands and turn them to yarn, to spin and knit into shirts for each of the eleven brothers. And all the while she cannot speak, for if she does, even so much as a whisper, it will be like a knife in the heart of each swan-boy. And so she knits, silent. And where there is silence people will put words.
The Wild Swans is a beautiful and lyrical extended version of the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen in Jackie Morris's enchanting retelling, complete with delicate watercolour paintings throughout this new edition. A story about love and bravery, about how to listen, and about how, when we do not listen, we hear what we wish to hear.
Morris says, "It is always surprising what you discover about a story when you set about reworking it and illustrating it. I had thought this to be a book about a heroine who endures and wins, but found also that it is about love, silence, communication and misunderstanding. It contains within one of my favourite characters that I have written, a woman who has soft fur slippers that can turn her into a hare. Neither good nor bad she continues to haunt me. I may need to discover more about her."
Hardback book - 384 pages.