The Emperor's Nightingale and Other Feathery Tales

Overview

With this extraordinary collection of stories—each featuring a bird as a central character—Jane Ray has crafted a special gift for children who love to read and be read to. Ray, an internationally renowned picture book artist, retells and stunningly illustrates a rich variety of tales from around the world. Some, like Oscar Wilde's “The Happy Prince,” are beloved; others, like the charming African myth, “Mulungu Paints the Birds,” will become new favorites. The writers include the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian ...
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Overview

With this extraordinary collection of stories—each featuring a bird as a central character—Jane Ray has crafted a special gift for children who love to read and be read to. Ray, an internationally renowned picture book artist, retells and stunningly illustrates a rich variety of tales from around the world. Some, like Oscar Wilde's “The Happy Prince,” are beloved; others, like the charming African myth, “Mulungu Paints the Birds,” will become new favorites. The writers include the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Edward Lear, and more. Jane's writing style simply glides along, revealing tales of wonder, magic and mystery.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/30/2013
Ray crafts an elegant framework for bird-themed stories and poems. Among the 12 selections are adaptations of a creation myth from Kenya, the story of Noah’s Ark, and Oscar Wilde’s ironically sorrowful “The Happy Prince.” A pair of poems—Emily Dickinson’s “Hope Is the Thing With Feathers” and Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat”—appear, along with the traditional nursery rhyme “Magpie Song.” Reflective, personal, and eloquent introductions preface each of the works: “I love the dark atmosphere of this story. I can imagine the forest, a place of beauty but also of fear, and the poor trapped birds, fluttering in their cages and longing for freedom,” she says of the Grimms’ fairy tale “Jorinda and Joringel.” Ray’s handsome etchings and fluid design are an organic supplement to the text. Ages 5–up. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
01/01/2014
Gr 2–5—This peculiar compilation of literary tales, poetry, folktales and a Bible story may have difficulty finding an audience. Ray's retelling of Oscar Wilde's "The Happy Prince" focuses the story, making it, perhaps, more palatable for today's children. The language in her version of the Noah story, however, is disappointingly flat considering the beauty of its source. While Andersen's "The Emperor's Nightingale" is well known, Ray's expansion of a poem about a Cardinal Archbishop and his pet jackdaw is a more obscure choice. "The Firebird" is a natural selection for this compendium, but Emily Dickinson's poem "Hope is the Thing With Feathers" makes an odd addition. The most successful elements of the volume are Ray's scratchboard illustrations, which are striking in their varied textures and moods. They range from white feathers scattered onto a cherry-colored page and spot illustrations at chapter headings to a full-page portrait. Ray's choice of ink colors and backgrounds makes a strong graphic impression. Less impressive are her cursory source notes, which do not point readers to the specific editions or storytelling events that may have influenced her adaptations.—Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781907152900
  • Publisher: Boxer Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Series: The Story Collector
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,413,409
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Jane has garnered rave reviews from the world's leading national press for her many works with major publishing houses, including Orchard and Candlewick. This is Jane's first series with Boxer Books.
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