The Blue Bird’s Palace

Orianne Lallemand, trans. from the French by Tessa Strickland, illus. by Carole Hénaff. Barefoot, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-84686-885-6
In this lavishly illustrated tale from Lallemand (The Wolf Who Wanted to Change His Color), inspired by Russian folklore, a materialistic and tempestuous young woman named Natasha, “sweet as sunshine if she got her own way, savage as a storm if she did not,” strikes a magical bargain with an elderly woman, receiving a palace that she can bend to her wishes, but never leave. During her exile, Natasha begins to miss the widowed father she left behind and recognize “what it meant to live in hardship,” awakening to her shortsighted selfishness. Rendered in a folk art style, Hénaff’s ornate acrylics recall embroidered textiles, ornamented with curling vines, flowers, and plants. While Natasha’s change in temperament happens somewhat abruptly, this remains an evocative, allegorical story about becoming trapped by one’s desires. Ages 5–10. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/18/2016
Release date: 09/01/2016
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-1-78285-911-6
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