By Author / Illustrator
Matilda Woods, Anuska Allepuz, Anuska Allepuz
Paperback / softback
\"This luminous tale of loss, love and finding family is threaded through with the power of storytelling, and a touch of magic. 'A giant of a little thing', as Alberto would say, The Boy, the Bird, & the Coffin Maker reads like a classic.\" Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Girl of Ink and Stars. 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.
In a village where fish fly through the air and no-one thinks it's odd, lives Alberto. Carrying the weight of grief, he lives alone carving coffins for the villagers. He gives the dead respect and company in their final hours. He understands loss, he knows how it feels to be lonely and to live in isolation. One day, however, he discovers a small, frightened and desperately sad boy, Tito, and his friend, a small bird. By building up trust, Alberto is able to befriend Tito and to ultimately save him from dying of the cold in the harshest of winters. Gradually, with patience and love, the unlikely duo build up a bond so strong that it is impossible to tell who depends on whom the most. With the prying eyes of the sisters who live next and the suspicions of the 'larger than life' mayor, Alberto lives in fear of Tito being discovered. The thought of another loss is almost too much to bear. This is a story of absolute beauty. It evolves gently with delicate descriptions and subtle plot twists. It's not a pacy, action-packed adventure story, it is comfortable, gentle and soothing. Love, loyalty and goodness are the themes which echo throughout this gorgeous tale. This book will light up your heart like the hug of a loved one. A book that proves that love can illuminate the darkest of days. It's a work of beauty. 224 pages / Ages 8+ / Reviewed by Jo Clarke, teacher.
Suggested Reading Age 7+