The Ice Bear by Jackie Morris
published by Frances Lincoln September 2nd 2010, distributed in USA by PGW
Also published in France, Denmark, Spain In Spanish and in Catalan.
The Ice Bear Jackie Morris 9781845079680- ‘This wonderful book by supremely talented artist Jackie Morris is packed with sumptuous illustrations that children will pour over. It is a beautifully written story of a child lost and found, and will be a must of every teacher, as it demonstrates the importance of humans living in harmony with creatures of the wild.’
The Back to school ed of The Bookseller.
In the beginning of time people and animals lived together on the earth and there was no difference between them. The air was pure and clear as crystal. Words held a magic. A word spoken in a chance, a wish or a whisper would hold a magic that would shape the world.
Into this world they were born, in the dark months, when the cold and the wind turned the water to stone. So small. She held them close to keep them warm in the blue ice cave that was their world.
But Raven tricked her. She stole away her child, carried him high into the darkness of winter, over the frozen sea.
The bear wept when she found that her child had gone. Her ice tears formed scars on her cheeks. She held her one child safer and closer and waited for the sun to rise. But she never forgot.
To hear the Icebear read by Jackie Morris, to see the paintings, go to Youtube. (Many thanks to Jane Messore of Blue Moon Studios for creating this for me)
The Ice Bear is a 40 page picture book. Where I live there are many ravens. In spring they tumble in a twisting turning dance of delight, flying for the sheer joy of feeling the wind beneath wings. Sometimes the air is so still here that you can hear the rush of it as they beat their great black feathers against it. As they fly they call and their language is complex and varied. Something of this story was told to me while sitting quiet on the hill and watching ravens fly. Something of this story grew out of a tragedy of loss suffered by a friend's family. Something of this story is planted firmly in the belief that all things in the world are equal.
At first it was a trail of sea glass that leads the child away from home. Smoothed by the sea, these fragile shards of glass fascinated my children when they were small. Mermaid's tears we called them. But I wanted to set the story far back in time, so changed the glass to amber, inspired by a necklace of huge amber beads I have. They shine like fire.
Now I have another necklace, made for me by a wonderful artist called Hannah Willow. I sent her the text for Icebear and talked a little of the talismanic animals in the images. She made me something beautiful to wear when I go out to schools and festivals, something with bear and fox and raven and owl and amber. A story necklace. Not only beautiful to look at but wonderful to wear.
Signed advance copies are available through the usual outlets in St Davids and online from Solva Woollen Mill, Middlemill.
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