Friday, December 3, 2010

Review + Giveaway: The Gift by Carol Ann Duffy; illus. by Rob Ryan


The exceptional talents of Carol Ann Duffy and papercut artist Rob Ryan combine to present the story of a girl's journey through life and the desires that shape it. With a kind of magic that is timeless, The Gift speaks to everyone who wonders about the mysteries that lie at the heart of the human experience. A unique gift book for all ages by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy This lyrical text about life, love and art is accompanied by stunning papercut illustrations. The Gift portrays the cycle of life in a subtle, accessible way while exploring themes of birth, death, love and the importance of family and friends.

  • Pub. Date: October 2010
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books
The Elliott Review:

This book has astounding woodcut illustrations combined with hauntingly lovely prose that combine to make a book of highest artistic quality. The story follows a young girl who has an unusual wish to be buried in a beautiful field when she dies. Her request is granted by an old woman, and the book follows the girl throughout each stage of her life until she, inevitably, receives her wish as an old woman who has lived a rich life full of love. The tale has echos of wisdom literature, parables, fables, fairy tales - that timeless quality that is hard to put a specific name to.

The deep lessons in this book are many. Because the girl accepts the presence of death even as she lives, she is enabled to live and love to the fullest, pursuing her dreams with a calm sense of peace and acceptance. The subject matter may seem a little heavy for children, but a parent who is reading along can provide explanations and engage in dialogue that will be beneficial to both.

This book would also be an interesting classroom read for a brave teacher willing to take on a difficult topic. Perhaps this would be something that would be helpful for a group that has lost someone - a way to provide comfort and insight at a tough time.

Source: Thanks to Barefoot Books for providing a copy of this book for a fair review.

Win a copy of The Gift!!

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Contest ends Saturday, December 18th. Open to US residents only.

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