Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul’—Emily Dickinson
This is a story about hope, kindness and redemption set in a grey dystopian world. When a great feather drifts from the leaden sky, two children recognise its extraordinariness and take it to the village for its protection. The villagers, however, want to encase it, upon which the feather loses its radiance. The children take it home and care for it through the night.
In the morning it is again radiant, and when they set it free it leaves behind the first signs of blue sky and colour. The ambiguous ending invites multiple interpretations about the effects of selflessness and kindness.
Margaret Wild is one of Australia’s most prolific and courageous authors, unafraid to tackle difficult subjects, such as death, old age and social deprivation with both sensitivity and openness. Her heart-warming, moving picture books have been acclaimed both in Australia and overseas.
Margaret’s talents have won her many awards throughout her career. In 1990, she won the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Picture Book of the Year for The Very Best of Friends, published by Margaret Hamilton Books. Other CBC short-listed and Commended books by Margaret include: Let the Celebrations Begin!; There’s a Sea in My Bedroom; Creatures in the Beard; Mr Nick’s Knitting; Thank You Santa; A Bit of Company; The Slumber Party; and Toby.
In 1996, The Midnight Gang, a whimsical, joyous picture book about the night prowlings of a group of toddlers, was published by Omnibus Books. It was short-listed for the 1997 Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award.