cover image The Emperor’s Nightingale and Other Feathery Tales

The Emperor’s Nightingale and Other Feathery Tales

Jane Ray. Boxer (Sterling, dist.), $19.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-907152-90-0

Ray crafts an elegant framework for bird-themed stories and poems. Among the 12 selections are adaptations of a creation myth from Kenya, the story of Noah’s Ark, and Oscar Wilde’s ironically sorrowful “The Happy Prince.” A pair of poems—Emily Dickinson’s “Hope Is the Thing With Feathers” and Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat”—appear, along with the traditional nursery rhyme “Magpie Song.” Reflective, personal, and eloquent introductions preface each of the works: “I love the dark atmosphere of this story. I can imagine the forest, a place of beauty but also of fear, and the poor trapped birds, fluttering in their cages and longing for freedom,” she says of the Grimms’ fairy tale “Jorinda and Joringel.” Ray’s handsome etchings and fluid design are an organic supplement to the text. Ages 5–up. (Oct.)