I've been following the O'Hara sisters on Instagram for over a year while I anxiously waited to read this book. I wasn't disappointed when I finally held a copy! The illustrations are simultaneously luminescent and dark, and the story of little Hortense who's afraid of her shadow is endearing.
A haunting, original fairy tale from two dazzling debut picture book talents, in the spirit of Neil Gaiman and Carson Ellis.
Hortense is a kind and brave girl, but she is sad--even angry--that her shadow follows her everywhere she goes. She hates her shadow, and thinks her shadow must hate her too. But one cold, dark night, when bandits surprise her in the woods, Hortense discovers that her shadow is the very thing she needs most.
This stunningly illustrated story stirs the soul with its compelling, subtle exploration of self-esteem, self-identity, and finding inner strength.
About the Author
Natalia O'Hara is a script editor and Lauren O'Hara is a set designer. As children, Natalia and Lauren shared stories and planned that when they grew up, Natalia would write books and Lauren would draw pictures. Hortense and the Shadow is the sisters' debut collaboration. They live in London, England, and invite you to visit them at nataliaandlauren.com.
Praise for Hortense and the Shadow: An Amazon Best Book of November 2017 —-
"A handsome debut picture book...beautifully designed."
—The New York Times
"A delicate original fairy tale that will likely appeal to young readers of imagination."
"Children who love eerie stories will be fascinated."
"A uniquely told tale with beautiful illustrations."
—School Library Journal
"Inquisitive youngsters seeking a bedtime yarn with equal parts spooky suspense and serious reflection will find it in this wintry wonderland."
"Eerie...Wintry, shadowy art in white, black, grays, and pale blues creates the right atmosphere for this darkly suspenseful tale, and the images are tricky enough to keep readers and listeners questioning what they see and what to believe."
—The Horn Book
"This story with a touch of the macabre works on many levels and will encourage such things as confidence and self-esteem." —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution