I love this quirky, original, and very beautiful short
fantasy for young readers, HORTENSE AND THE SHADOW. Set in
a forested winter wonderland, illustrated by Lauren O'Hara,
this captivating story begins with silliness and
stubbornness and ends in bravery and adventure.
Hortense loves playing outdoors and exploring beautiful
buildings, but gets annoyed by seeing her shadow, and
decides to get rid of it. But maybe a girl is better off to
have a shadow! See what you think.
Sisters Natalia and Lauren O'Hara live in London. Natalia
the author is a script editor and Lauren is a set designer,
and this venture is their first collaboration. The writing
is a little unusual in phrasing, and the whole is based on
tales from their Polish grandmother. I can't compliment the
artwork highly enough for nature and Central European
buildings. Little Hortense is brought to life full of
movement and determination. In the shadow figure we can
also take the lesson of a child becoming impatient with a
younger sibling, so we can learn a lot. HORTENSE AND THE
SHADOW would make a perfect present for readers from four
to eight years. Adults will enjoy it too.
A haunting, original fairy tale from two dazzling debut
picture book talents, in the spirit of Neil Gaiman and
Hortense is a kind and brave girl, but she is sad--even
angry--that her shadow follows her everywhere she goes. She
hates her shadow, and thinks her shadow must hate her too.
But one cold, dark night, when bandits surprise her in the
woods, Hortense discovers that her shadow is the very thing
she needs most.
This stunningly illustrated story stirs the soul with its
compelling, subtle exploration of self-esteem,
self-identity, and finding inner strength.