Friendship and magical realism sparkle on the page in this heartwarming, delightfully eccentric illustrated middle-grade gem from an extraordinary new literary voice. Perfect for fans of A Snicker of Magic and The Penderwicks.
Alberto lives alone in the town of Allora, where fish fly out of the sea and the houses shine like jewels. He is a coffin maker and widower, spending his quiet days creating the final resting places of Allora's people.
Then one afternoon a magical bird flutters into his garden, and Alberto, lonely inside, welcomes it into his home. And when a kindhearted boy named Tito follows the bird into Alberto's kitchen, a door in the old man's heart cracks open. Tito is lonely too--but he's also scared and searching for a place to hide. Fleeing from danger, he just wants to feel safe for once in his life. Can the boy and the old man learn the power of friendship and escape the shadows of their pasts?
With a tender bond that calls to mind The Girl Who Drank the Moon, charming characters reminiscent of The Penderwicks, and the whimsy of A Snicker of Magic, this is a novel to curl up with, an extraordinary work of magical realism that makes the world feel like a warmer and happier place. Complete with dazzling interior illustrations, a gem from start to finish.
Praise for The Boy, the Bird & the Coffin Maker:
"A beautifully written debut about recovering from grief and finding hope through an unlikely friendship. The writing itself is a gorgeous lyrical prose laced with magical realism, like a Gabriel García Márquez story for young readers." --BookTrust
★ "Woods has penned a gentle fable, one rich in hope that promotes the strength of kindness. Her magical realism nods to the like of Isabel Allende and Gabriel García Márquez, perfectly tailoring the genre for a middle-grade audience. Anuska Allepuz's whimsical illustrations add to the magical feel. Sweet, earnest and not to be missed." --Shelf Awareness, STARRED REVIEW
★ "Elegantly told from start to finish and enhanced by Allepuz's evocative images and decorations, debut author Woods has created a fairy tale that will linger with readers." --Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
★ "This uplifting book will enthrallreaders, enveloping them in its gentle charm." --Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
"Awash in magical realism, this is a gentle tale of two hearts, broken by a sometimes harsh world, who find solace, comfort, healing and safety in a new family. . . . A warm-hearted, beautifully told tale." --School Library Connection
"A lyrical and melancholy tale [filled with] atmospheric writing." --School Library Journal
"A quietly triumphant tale." --Kirkus Reviews
"A gently compelling hybrid of intrigue and enchantment . . . filled with the redeeming magic of love and life." --VOYA