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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
The Artists: Tales from the Hidden Valley
by Carles Porta
Age Range: 6-8
Change is in the air in the hidden valley tucked far away between tall mountains. It’s autumn and Ticky is preparing to fly south to a warmer climate, but he’s reluctant to leave without saying goodbye to his good friend Yula. However, she’s nowhere to be found. Yula loves to paint and she’s absorbed in creating a goodbye present for Ticky and has lost all track of time. Then everything starts to go wrong: as she rushes off to find him a great gust of wind steals her painting taking it to a cold, dark part of the forest where no one ever goes. With the sun setting and the seasons changing will the two friends find each other before winter arrives?
This is an appealing, quirky tale by Spanish author and illustrator Carles Porta, translated by Daniel Hahn, about a fantastical hidden valley and its endearingly curious cast of inhabitants. The Artists is the first book in the ‘Tales from the Hidden Valley’ series and it’s a joy to read. With a whimsical style of storytelling, gorgeous, lively illustrations and unusual characters, such as the mysterious tiny ballerina with the head of an onion, this is definitely one to savour.