Tag Archives: Angela Barrett

The Emperor’s New Clothes


This clever book doesn’t need much of an introduction. Like The Wild Swans (by the same author, translator, and illustrator), it is a great translation of a classic story with beautiful illustrations.

Author: Naomi Lewis/Hans Christian Andersen
Illustrator: Angela Barrett

The Wild Swans


Far, far away, in the land where the swallows fly during our winter, there lived a king who had eleven sons and one daughter, Elisa. The eleven brothers–princes all of them–went to school, each wearing a star at his heart and a sword at his side. They wrote on leaves of gold with diamond pencils; whatever they read, they learnt at once. You could tell straight off that they were princes! Their sister Elisa sat on a little stool made of looking-glass, and had a picture book that had cost half a kingdom.

Oh, they lived royally, those children! But it did not last.

Hans Christian Andersen’s stories verge on being too dark and long for reading to younger children. But they are also beautiful, and the artwork and the translation here reflects that.

This book was a happy surprise, found the morning before a family wedding in a very unusual bookstore housed in an old bank (complete with a vault for the rarest volumes).

Author: Naomi Lewis/Hans Christian Andersen
Illustrator: Angela Barrett

The Ice Palace


It was the hottest season in a hot, dry land.
Anna was unwell. Her mother made a bed in the little garden room,
and her father laid her gently down.
“When the cool winds come they will find you here,” he promised.
But the cool winds didn’t come.

In a time before electricity, a little girl grows more and more feverish. As she grows sicker and sicker, her father tells her stories of cold and ice and those stories continue in her dreams. Finally, a cool breeze arrives, and she is cured. The story is unusual (if rather frightening for adults); the illustrations are absolutely beautiful.

Author: Angela McAllister
Illustrator: Angela Barrett


The Hidden House


This book tells a quiet story.  Three dolls are made by an old man and are happy for a time, but are then abandoned along with his house (implicitly upon his death) and left lonely for many years, only to be rediscovered and made happy again by a young family.  When we read it, it captures the boys’ attention completely–sometimes I think it is largely because of the beautiful,  dreamlike illustrations.  But we’ve read a number of books with wonderful illustrations that never really caught their interest (sometimes much to my surprise).  There is more here than meets the eye.

Author:  Martin Waddell
Illustrator:  Angela Barrett