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About the Book

Author: Kevin Crossley-Holland

Age Range: 5-7 Years 7-11 Years 11-14 Years 14-16 Years 16 + Years

Publisher: Orchard


This lyrical, haunting gift of a book gently and memorably unfolds the tale of Laura – a voiceless orphan whose life is transformed when a man of music discovers that she has an extraordinary gift.

The evolution of Laura’s story is, in itself, compelling; it begins with a trip to Venice taken by illustrator Jane Ray, during the course of which she visited the Vivaldi Museum and learnt about the Ospedale della Pieta, an 18th-century orphanage run by nuns, where a young Anthony Vivaldi, already a renowned composer, was director of music for some years.

Laura’s name appears on a list of foundlings who were raised there, and Ray was inspired to wonder about her history, and draw her a life, which was eventually put into words by the prize-winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland.

Achingly beautiful, deeply moving and exquisitely illustrated – with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons always playing between the lines on the pages – this very special short novel is the result of that collaboration, and a work that could surely unlock poetry in the soul of the most pragmatic reader.

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