The Woman Who Turned Children into Birds

Illustrator: Laura Carlin

Binding: Hardcover

Imprint: Walker Studio

Age 4+

Picture Storybooks

She made her marks.
She whispered her words.
Then she said,
“Go on. Be happy. Up you go."

When Nanty Solo comes to town, she says she can turn children into birds. The parents are skeptical, but the children want to fly. And before very long, everyone does. A celebratory, lyrical story that will make your heart and imagination soar. Written by internationally acclaimed author David Almond and brought to life in glorious uplifting paintings by award-winning illustrator Laura Carlin.


David Almond is the acclaimed author of many award-winning novels for children such as Skellig, Kit's Wilderness and My Name Is Mina, and has collaborated with artists Polly Dunbar, Dave McKean and Oliver Jeffers on fiction for younger readers. David's books sell all over the world, and in 2011 he was the recipient of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award. In 2021, David was awarded the OBE for Services to Literature.

Laura Carlin is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and the winner of several awards, including the V&A Book Illustration Award. Her work has featured in Vogue, the Guardian and The New York Times; her previous books for Walker include The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, which was awarded an honourable mention in the Bologna Ragazzi Award fiction category.


A beautiful, whimsical, heart-lifting picture book by a writer who makes words soar and an artist with an elegant, unconventional style, about defying rules and daring to fly.

Sunday Times

Almond, as ever, champions flights of the imagination.

Sally Morris' children's books of the year, Daily Mail

The haunting childlike illustrations by Laura Carlin add to the mysteriousness of it all.

Evening Standard

a sliver of Nanny McPhee and a strong shadow of Roald Dahl’s favouring of the child view over the cynical adult, this is a beguiling treat. Part fable, part celebration of the limitlessness of childhood imagination, Carlin’s ever-shifting illustrations build an ethereal mood

The Best Children's Books of 2022, The Big Issue

The story captures the soaring freedom of imagination, alive to all children, too precious to be forgotten. It’s so beautifully told, the words sparkle, and Laura Carlin’s illustrations are magnificent.


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