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Hauntingly told and sumptuously illustrated, this wintry modern fairy tale is perfect for holiday sharing.
When Frindleswylde is near, the wind trembles, the sun pales, and the wild things hide. When he enters Cora and Granny's house in the woods, Frindleswylde steals the light from their lantern, so Granny can’t find her way home after work in the dark. And when a determined Cora chases the mysterious boy down a hole in the fishpond to his frozen kingdom, he sets her three Impossible Tasks. If she completes them, she can take her light and go, or so he says. But can Cora resist the urge to forget? As fresh and sparkling as sunlight on ice, this beautifully illustrated tale of enchantment—reminiscent of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”—celebrates the transformative power of love in the darkest of times, the unbreakable bond between grandparent and child, and the bright promise of springtime.
About the Author
Natalia and Lauren O'Hara are 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. Frindleswylde is their third collaboration after Hortense and the Shadow and The Bandit Queen. Natalia lives in London. Lauren, who is also the illustrator of Sophie Dahl's Madame Badobedah, lives in Dublin.
Readers familiar with stories by the Brothers Grimm and Andersen will recognize some themes and archetypes, but the prose offers some delightful turns of phrase and fantastic imaginings of the ways seasons change, and the delicate, painterly watercolor illustrations complement the material beautifully. . . . A fresh story for fans of classic fairy tales.
Loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s 'The Snow Queen,' this story retains the original’s matter-of-fact menace while spinning its own beautifully chilling story. The striking mixed-media illustrations employ warm tones in the regular world and icy blues and purples around Frindleswylde, creating an elegant distinction between the realms. A wonderful wintry fairy tale with a warm heart.
Lyrical and captivating. The elaborate and soft palette artwork represents the icy, cold world of Frindleswylde. . . . A fantasy tale of a clever young girl with beautifully rendered artwork, this is a title which will keep readers turning the pages.
—School Library Connection
The O’Hara sisters have delivered an inventive story that reads like a classic fairy tale, replete with magical phrases and characterized by a swift-moving plot with unexpected, sometimes devastating twists. The mixed-media art, in the form of both small vignettes and full-paged illustrations, has soft textures and icy hues that effectively evoke the chill of winter, offset by the warm tones associated with Cora and Granny. . . . This tremendous picture book begs to be read aloud.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books