Author(s): Margaret Wild; Freya Blackwood (Illustrator)
'Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul'--Emily Dickinson This is a story about hope, kindness and redemption set in a grey dystopian world. When a great feather drifts from the leaden sky, two children recognise its extraordinariness and take it to the village for its protection. The villagers, however, want to encase it, upon which the feather loses its radiance. The children take it home and care for it through the night. In the morning it is again radiant, and when they set it free it leaves behind the first signs of blue sky and colour. The ambiguous ending invites multiple interpretations about the effects of selflessness and kindness.
Margaret Wild was born in 1948 in Eschew, a small town in South Africa, and came to Australia in 1972. Before becoming a full-time writer, Margaret was a journalist for newspapers and magazines and then she worked for sixteen years as a book editor in children's publishing. Margaret's books explore a diverse range of themes, but she is particularly noted for exploring issues of identity, trust, and death. Many of her books have appeared in foreign editions. All have been highly acclaimed. Jenny Angel (which was inspired by her brother's death at the age of seven), illustrated by Anne Spudvilas, Fox, illustrated by Ron Brooks, and The Very Best of Friends, illustrated by Julie Vivas are all winners of the CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award, while Lucy Goosey and Little Humpty, both illustrated by Ann James, were named honour books. Margaret latest picture books with Little Hare include The Stone Lion (illustrated by Ritva Voutila), Itsy-Bitsy Babies and Itsy-Bitsy Animals, (illustrated by Jan Ormerod), No More Kisses (Nina Rycroft) and Hush, Hush (illustrated by Bridget Strevens-Marzo). Freya Blackwood was born in Edinburgh and grew up in Orange in NSW, Australia where she now lives with her daughter, Ivy. After graduating from UTS in Visual Communications, Freya worked in the film industry as a production assistant, runner and effects technician. She began illustrating picture books in 2002 and has since been shortlisted for, and won many prestigious awards, including the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2010. Award-winning titles include Two Summers with John Heffernan (2004 CBCA Chrichton Award winner), Amy & Louis with Libby Gleeson (2007 CBCA Picture Book of the Year for Younger Readers), Maudie and Bear with the late Jan Ormerod (2011 CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year), Look, A Book! with Libby Gleeson (2012 CBCA Picture Book of the Year), Go To Sleep Jessie with Libby Gleeson (2015 CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year) and My Two Blankets with Irena Kobald (2015 CBCA Picture Book of the Year). Freya works and creates in her backyard studio.