“Hortense and the Shadow” by Natalia and Lauren O’Hara is available now in hardback or eBook.
As Christmas is fast approaching I decided that it was time to have a look at some children’s books, though at first a little unsure of where to start. Then I had an email via NetGalley for this book, you may call it fate. I call it magic!
“Through the dark and wolfish woods, through the white and silent snow, lived a small girl called Hortense. Though kind and brave, she was sad as an owl because of one thing . . . Hortense hated her shadow.” A beautifully illustrated dark fairy tale that will remind you of the fables you read as a child. A treasure not to be missed.
Hortense hated her shadow. Everywhere she went, it went. Everything she did, it did. And every time night fell it grew, tall and dark and crooked.
So Hortense decided: the shadow must go! Only later, alone in the wolfish woods, she learned that a girl without a shadow is far smaller… a fairy tale about light and shadows.
This is a beautiful book with a beautiful story. It has an old story feel to it, when you read the bio of the authors it is obvious that old stories have been a big part of their lives. I was drawn to the artwork originally, the whimsical, delicate pastel illustrations are superb. They manage to capture the atmosphere of the setting and the story. The story itself is based on Hortense and her dislike of her shadow, it follows her everywhere, at night turning into a dark, creepy shadow that was scary. She manages to cut the shadow off, but can feel it’s presence, but one night it comes to her rescue. Hortense realises her shadow is something that is an extension of herself, can make her appear taller, longer and reach further.
This is a book I would love to have read as a child, and would love to have read to my now grown up children. It is a story with a message, is beautifully written and I loved the illustrations.
I would like to express my thanks to NetGalley and the Publishers for allowing me a copy of this eARC. My opinions are my own and are unbiased.
About the Authors:
Natalia and Lauren are two sisters from the North of England. In the daytime they edit scripts and design sets, and at night they draw and write together. As children they loved fairy tales, animal fables and the stories their Polish grandmother told on snowy nights. Hortense and the Shadow is their first picture book.
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Age Range: 5 – 7 years
- Publisher: Puffin (5 Oct. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141374020
- ISBN-13: 978-0141374024
- Purchase from Amazon UK
Many thanks for reading my post. If you liked this, give it a share. Or better still, go and buy the book.