Tuesday 21 February 2023

Paper Boat, Paper Bird - David Almond (Author), Kirsti Beautyman (Illustrator)

A stunning new story from the bestselling, prize-winning David Almond, unfolding the magic of the everyday. Mina, from the unforgettable Skellig and My Name is Mina, journeys to Japan and discovers the wonders of the world around her.

Kyoto, Japan. Mina is on a bus. Everything is strange and beautiful.

Mina watches as a woman folds a piece of paper into an origami boat, then floats it over to her.

As Mina discovers the magic of origami, her eyes are opened to the wonders of the real city around her.

Unfold the magic of the everyday, on a journey with one of the world's best-loved authors - with stunning illustrations from Kirsti Beautyman in black and orange throughout.

What did I think?

David Almond is a local North East author and although I haven’t read Skellig (yet), I wanted to read Paper Boat, Paper Bird.  Mina is a character in Skellig and she gets her own story in Paper Boat, Paper Bird.

The book is beautifully illustrated by another North Easterner, Kirsti Beautyman and I loved the monochrome drawings with a dash of deep orange colour.  The paper quality is excellent as some of the drawings are quite heavily shaded but the pages don’t curl and colours don’t bleed through to the other side.

I love that the story was inspired by something that actually happened to David Almond in Tokyo where a woman on a bus gave David’s daughter an origami paper boat she had made.  In the story, Mina writes her name on the paper boat that she receives and sends it off on a journey.  This lovely story really does make you think about chance, fate and coincidences.

Recommended for 9-11 year olds (I’m a smidgen older), it’s easy to read and it contains a few Japanese words that David Almond breaks down into syllables so you get the pronunciation right.  I think it’s absolutely lovely that anyone reading this book will learn and be able to correctly pronounce the Japanese words for hello, goodbye and thank you.

Simple but charming, Paper Boat, Paper Bird is a beautifully written and beautifully illustrated book.

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