Synopses & Reviews
An allegorical tale of hope takes on new life in this stirring, gorgeously illustrated story.
On a mean street in a mean, broken city, a young girl tries to snatch an old womans bag. But the frail old woman, holding on with the strength of heroes, says the thief cant have it without giving something in return: the promise. It is the beginning of a journey that will change the thieving girls life — and a chance to change the world, for good. Here is the story of a magical discovery that will touch the heart and imagination of every reader, young and old. In an exciting collaboration, author Nicola Davies joins forces with illustrator Laura Carlin to create a contemporary tale inspired by Jean Gionos 1953 story, Lhomme qui plantait des arbres.
"A message of hope infuses Davies's story, which opens with a child whose urban home mirrors her bleak internal life. 'I lived by stealing from those who had almost as little as I did,' she explains, seen pickpocketing from a woman's coat. 'My heart was as shriveled as the dead trees in the park.' When the girl steals an elderly woman's purse, she discovers that it contains only acorns; the woman's request that the girl promise to 'plant them' immediately (and somewhat unrealistically) washes away her more immediate needs and concerns: 'I forgot the food and money. And for the first time in my life, I felt lucky, rich beyond my wildest dreams.' In her first picture book, Carlin creates a chalky, ashy landscape, which she gradually peppers with specks of color as the girl plants the acorns: 'I pushed aside the mean and hard and ugly, and I planted, planted, planted.' A chance encounter with another thief perpetuates the cycle of redemption and goodwill. Davies's parable-like narrative leaves a quietly powerful impression while avoiding preaching. Ages 5 9. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
is an award-winning author whose many books for children include Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature, Ice Bear, Big Blue Whale,
and the Silver Street Farm series. Underlying all of Nicola Daviess work is the belief that a relationship with nature is essential for every human being, and that now, more than ever, we need to renew that relationship. She lives in Wales.
Laura Carlin is the illustrator of The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, which was awarded an honorable mention in the Bologna Ragazzi Award fiction category. Her artwork has been featured in Vogue, the New York Times, and the Guardian. The Promise is her first picture book. She lives in London.