Hortense and the Shadow. Natalia O’Hara

4 stars for this stunning fairy tale.

I chose this ebook because I thought it charming that it is written and illustrated by two sisters. And I am really pleased with my choice, as this children’s picture book is beautifully compelling to look at and read. The illustrations are drawn from a limited palette of pastel and dark shades that reflects the innocence and darkness of the story, and I think this works really well. I lingered over these gorgeous illustrations for some time. A young child might be scared of the lurking figures that are unexplained until near the end of the book.

The story is told quite simply with some deliciously wild imagery: ‘wolfish woods’ and ‘Wind flew through the woods like a pack of wild dogs’ are two of my favourites. The theme of the book has much in common with that of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but written for children and with a happy ending! A real treat.

I received this ebook free from NetGalley in return for an honest review. UK publication: 5 October 2017 by Puffin.


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