Another book that’s caught me off guard recently, with a bit of dust in the ol’ eyes whilst reading, is the Nosy Crow version of Johanna Spyri’s ‘Heidi’, retold by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Briony May Smith.
Heidi, a five-year-old orphan, is sent to live in the Swiss mountains with her Grandfather, who is renowned for his grumpy, unsociable ways. But Heidi discovers a gentle and kind man and helps thaw his icy exterior, whilst befriending a local shepherd boy and his family. When she’s forced to move to Frankfurt as a companion for another young girl, her pain at being wrenched away from her beloved mountains is palpable. Yet Heidi, ever gracious and caring, puts the needs of Clara before her own. Will she ever be able to answer the call of her Swiss homeland?
Jeanne and Briony are a dream pairing to breathe new life into this timeless story. Between them, they plant us firmly in the green meadows of Switzerland and, in stark contrast, the cosmopolitan streets of Frankfurt.
The book itself is so beautifully presented - a pink cover hides underneath the dust jacket, with foil and fabric detailing and Swiss motifs that are repeated on the stunning endpapers. Primrose was completely entranced by the story and the wonderfully immersive, detailed illustrations when we read it over two days... it was a delight to share it with her and would make a very special gift. You can swipe to see some of our favourite spreads.
Thank you, @nosycrow for this copy - it is treasured here.
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