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The Boy the Bird and the Coffin Maker

The Boy, the Bird and the Coffin Maker

Published: 4 May 2017

Paperback / softback, 224 pages

Recommended for age 9+

By Matilda Woods

Illustrated by Anuska Allepuz

Published by Scholastic

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£5.50
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RRP £6.99
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This title features in our Reading Gladiators™ selection.

Alberto lives alone in the town of Allora, where fish fly out of the sea and the houses shine like jewels. He is a coffin maker, spending his quiet, solitary days creating the final resting places of Allora's people. Until the day a mysterious boy and his magical bird arrive - flying from danger and searching for a safe haven. Tito is fearful, suspicious of kindness, but as the winter days grow colder and darker, Alberto's home grows warmer and brighter.

Can Tito and his bird be sheltered from the town's prying eyes and the shadows of their past? A story of life and death and of how hope can burn bright in a place faded by sadness A gem of a read: heart-breaking but ultimately life-affirming, it celebrates small acts of gentleness and goodness. Inclusive, thoughtful and a proper page-turner. The lyrical, fairytale-like tone of the writing and the not-quite-real setting give the story a timeless quality and the makings of a modern classic.

This is Gabriel Garcia Marquez for children. The magical realism of The Boy, the Bird, & the Coffin Maker allows the author to tackle a difficult subject in an accessible way, as Patrick Ness did in A Monster Calls. A stunning, standout package: printed endpapers and charming full-page illustrations in every chapter make this a beautiful gift.