|Song of the Golden Hare by Jackie Morris|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Madeline Wheatley|
|Summary: Jackie Morris weaves a new legend into a beautifully illustrated picture book. A boy and his family keep the secret of the golden hare and protect her from harm.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 40||Date: October 2013|
|Publisher: Frances Lincoln|
If you buy one picture book this year, make it this one. Not because it’s a good story, or because you know a child who would love it (both sound reasons), but because it is also a stunning work of art. The pictures are full of carefully observed wildlife and glorious colours. Every inch adds to the telling of the tale.
The story is a quest, which involves a legendary creature, a golden hare that is Queen of the Hares and is protected from hunters by the actions of a young boy, his sister and their Grandfather. It is a gentle, fanciful tale that pits music and good will against violence and greed.
There are so many myths associated with hares that I wondered if there was an old story at the heart of this new one. Not so far as I can see, but interestingly, Jackie Morris discovered (after writing the book) that there are real, if rare, golden hares living on the island of Rathlin, off the Irish coast.
The Song of the Golden Hare has a perfect blend of pictures and text and will appeal to Jackie Morris’s many adult fans as well as younger readers. She has a great ability to create atmosphere through the use of colour and shade in her pictures. Contrast the menace in the illustration of the hunter and hounds on the hilltop with the warmth of the children sleeping with the hares earlier in the tale. Elements of the pictures, such as the arching bodies of the hounds, remind me of my favourite illustrator from childhood, Pauline Baynes, who was responsible for the original illustrations for The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis.
If you want to know more about the process of producing the images for the Song of the Golden Hare take a look at the Guardian’s series on drawing characters like your favourite children’s book illustrators. Morris demonstrates how she draws the golden hare from this book.
For more books with fabulous art work try our Top Ten Books With Gorgeous Illustrations
You can read more book reviews or buy Song of the Golden Hare by Jackie Morris at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Song of the Golden Hare by Jackie Morris at Amazon.com.
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