Compassion is a force mightier than stone - a heartwarming tale by Margaret Wild.
Sometimes statues are granted a chance to become warm, breathing creatures. The stone lion has only one dream-to run, pounce, and leap in the park across from where he sits. But one snowy night, when a baby is abandoned at his paws, he is compelled to think differently. This heartwarming and inspiring tale, with stunning Depression-era illustrations by Ritva Voutila, demonstrates the power of kindness and its profound ability to change lives.
Ritva Voutila was born in Nokia, Finland.
After finishing high school in Nokia she moved to Helsinki to study art at the School of Art and Design. In 1968 she moved to Australia, and then to Spain in 1971, where she continued perfecting her drawing and painting skills for the next ten years while working in fields as varied as garden design and computer programming and analysis. In 1981 she moved back to Australia, settling down in Sydney.
For the next couple of years she worked as a computer sales representative, but in 1983 she became a full time freelance artist working initially in jewellery design, graphic design and advertising.
In Sydney, she studied art at Paddington Art School and the Julian Ashton School of Arts. She also holds a BA in Philosophy from Macquarie University, Sydney, and studied Urban Design at Sydney University. She has a special interest in Philosophy for Children.
Ritva is also an accomplished school performer and holds frequent art workshops. Since 1995 she has toured her school programmes throughout Australia to annual audiences of over 20,000 students.
Twice (1999 and 2005) her show has won a Frater Award for Excellence in School performances from the NSW State Department of Education and Training.
She lives in Ballarat, 100 km north-west of Melbourne, with her husband Richard.
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.