"Every now and then a book comes along and changes your life. Forgive the paradox, but I’ve read Roberto Piumini’s Glowrushes for the first time twice: first in Italian, and now once more through Leah Janeczko’s English translation. The premise is simple yet stunning: in an alternate Turkish universe, a devoted father commissions a painter named Sakumat to adorn the white-washed walls of his sickly son’s chambers. Madurer has only ever experienced the world secondhand, and it is through the heart and soul of Sakumat’s moving and glowing art that he is able to free himself from the confines of his illness. Though we should all engage with the original text in the same way Madurer should be able to live freely, Janeczko breathes new life and lyricism into the text for English readers, imbuing Piumini’s artful storytelling with newfound beauty akin to Sakumat and his magical murals."--Reviewed by Cristina
“I don’t think I have read anything like this before – a tale of life, death, love and beauty. . . . I hope this unforgettable story finds all the readers it deserves.” —Philip Pullman
Long, long ago, a boy lies confined by sickness to his windowless bedchambers. He can never experience the outside world, never breathe fresh air or feel the warmth of the sun on his skin, so his doting father summons a painter to embellish his rooms with beautiful murals.
The artist sets to work, and soon there is a fabulous world on the walls, a colorful, shifting landscape peopled by shepherds and lovers, criss-crossed by armies and pirate ships. As the boy’s health fades, the artist paints on, turning the simple commission into a generous labor of love. Can he show this child the richness and beauty of the world—and of life itself—with nothing but paints and brushes?
Glowrushes is a heartbreakingly beautiful classic of Italian children’s literature.
Leah D. Janeczko is a translator of Italian literature for readers of all ages. Born and raised in the Chicago area, she has lived in Milan for over three decades.
"I don’t think I have read anything like this before—a tale of life, death, love and beauty....I hope this unforgettable story finds all the readers it deserves." —Philip Pullman
"You see it, feel it, live it as you read. Lyrical, magical, tender and true, and deeply mysterious." —Michael Morpurgo, "Booktrust Best Children's Books of the Year"
"Best for 8 and up, this elegant, moving novella is a classic of Italian children’s literature, filled with understatedly exquisite, transporting prose." —Imogen Russell Williams, The Guardian
"The ideal stocking filler for Italophile adults and thoughtful children who don’t mind a terribly sad ending (hankies at the ready). Roberto Piumini’s books feature in every school and library in Italy. . . . reading this beautiful, if sentimental, story you can see why. . . . let yourself delight in the deepening relationship between the artist and the boy at the heart of this touching, otherworldly, out-of-time novella about friendship, imagination and the power of art." —Alex O' Connell, The Times (UK)