Monday, 23 October 2017

Book Review: Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia and Lauren O'Hara


Title: Hortense and the Shadow
Authors: Natalia O'Hara and Lauren O'Hara
Genre: Children's
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Puffin
Publication Date: 5th October 2017
Rating: 3 stars

Tell Me About It
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.
My Thoughts
I first heard of Hortense and the Shadow via the publisher, which got me interested in why Hortense's shadow is what she needs the most.

Hortense is a young girl, but having her shadow follow her around everywhere she goes is getting annoying, fast. After much eluding Hortense finally gets rid of her shadow and enjoys the freedom of not having it around, until something happens and Hortense realises how useful her shadow was and desperately wants it back again

Hortense and the Shadow was a relatively quick read, but the book is full of stunning artwork which has a slightly dark feel to it. I really enjoyed seeing the ways Hortense tries to lose her shadow, and how it was eventually done and how she enjoys the freedom of it all, even the ending leaves you with a happy bubble inside you as Hortense realises what her shadow is for.

Final Verdict
This is a quick read but sure to be a hit with it's target age group, as well as older readers.

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