A stunning first novel from Shirley Hughes,one of the world’s best loved children’s writers and illustrators.
Set in the countryside, Hero on a Bicycle, close to Florence in 1944, Italy is occupied by Nazi German forces. But the Italian Resistance movement has not given up hope.
In Villa Crivelli, Paolo and his sister Constanza are desperate to fight the occupation. Their father, a known Partisan and resistance fighter has had to retreat to the hills. Their mother Rosemary is British but has lived in Italy for many years.
As the Nazis become increasingly worried about maintaining their position they become more and more interested in this unusual family living in the countryside, they suspect a close liaison with the resistance fighters.
Shirley Hughes, is a wonderful story teller and writer. The story is focused on Paolo, a fourteen year old boy. As he rides his bicycle along the lanes to Florence he becomes more involved with the fighting and Il Volpe (…the Fox), than he had planned.
There is a brilliant web site with information,sketches and a video from Shirley, see below, as she describes her work and her time in Florence. See more here…
By Ted Kooser
and illustrated by Jon Klassen is new this month from Walker Books UK.
Have you ever played in a house in the trees? Maybe you have a rope ladder that only you could climb. Or even a very special tree that was nearly flat and let you climb right up into its branches.
This very moving story in a picture book format has beautiful illustrations and leaves you with a real feeling of time moving on.
‘When the house was new, not a single tree remained on its perfect lawn to give shade from the sun. The children in the house trailed the scent of wild trees to neighbouring lots, where thick bushes offered secret places to play. When the children grew up and moved away, their father, alone in the house, continued his battle against blowing seeds, plucking out sprouting trees – until one day he, too, moved away. Then, as the empty house began its decline, the trees began to take over. At once wistful and exhilarating, this lovely, lyrical story evokes the inexorable passage of time – and the awe-inspiring power of nature to lift us up.’