The Promise by Nicola Davies

The Promise

Written by Nicola Davies
Illustrated by Laura Carlin

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Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal The Promise is a story with a strong green message - about the power we have to transform our world - and features breathtaking design and illustration. A perfect book to share with young children. It is also a story of a magical discovery that will touch the heart and imagination of every reader, young and old. With poignant simplicity, honesty and lyricism, Nicola Davies evokes a powerful vision of a world where people and nature live in harmony. And Laura Carlin's delicate illustrations capture a young girl's journey from a harsh, urban reality to the beauty and vitality of a changed world. It is moving, touching, unforgettable.

It received a BolognaRagazzi Award Special Mention in 2014 & was shortlisted for The Little Rebels Children's Book Award 2014.


The Promise by Nicola Davies

In a mean city, on a mean street a young thief tries to rob an old woman’s bag. But she can’t have it unless she makes a promise in return – to plant them well. So she does and gets a bag filled with acorns.That is the beginning of a journey that changes her life and the lives of others that live in the city. The story touches deeply, no matter what the age.
Nicola’s writing emerges on the belief that a human’s relationship with nature is essential and that especially now we need to renew and cherish that relationship.


Nicola Davies’s tale of transformation is timely,compelling and beautifully told . . . superb Kate Kellaway, The Guardian

About the Author

Nicola Davies

Nicola Davies - As a child

Nicola says: I don't remember a time when I wasn't utterly besotted with animals. I spent all my time before I went to school, in the garden with my lovely Grandpa (who was small and round and had all sorts of things in his cardigan pockets) looking at flowers, and ants and bird's nests. My parents moved around quite a lot so I was always the new girl in school, which meant I spent a lot of time on my own reading and thinking... still my two favourite recreational activities. What finally saved me at school was that I learnt to make people laugh. But I was still mostly by myself, alone, out in the fields in Suffolk where my parents then lived, walking my dog and listening to the skylarks.

As an adult

I did a zoology degree and went on to study various animals in the wild; bats, geese, whales... Then I went to work at the BBC Natural History Unit, first as a researcher and later a presenter on 'The Really Wild Show'. TV was fun for a while, but I really hated the pressure. The good thing about it was that it allowed me to earn money, and still have time for my kids when they were little. I've loved being a mum, absolutely adored it. Some of my happiest memories are of reading my kids books I loved as a child - books like the Lord of the Rings. I can still make my daughter squeal by doing my 'Gollum' voice!

As an artist

I wanted to write from about the age of twenty, and I wrote scenes and characters in my head all the time. But never put anything on paper. I would go into bookshops and see all those books and think, there's just too many and I'm not clever enough to do yet another one. So I didn't start writing until my thirties, when I began to write scripts for kids' programmes. I gradually got more confidence and started to write for Walker Books, then for newspapers and magazines and then adult novels. I've just started to write poetry for children too. I'm terribly disciplined about my writing. I just sit down at my desk and get on with it every day I have, and get really cross about being distracted. I also teach writing at a university now and sometimes I get really cross with that too, because it keeps me from getting as much writing done as I would like. I love children's films and cartoons... Lilo and Stitch is my favourite at the moment. I cry every time in Babe when the pig says to the sheepdog, 'Can I call you Mum?'

Things you didn't know about Nicola Davies

1. If I were rich, I would fill my whole house with flowers all the time.

2. I have a sister who looks and sounds just like me.

3. I love singing and I know lots of folk songs (some with rather rude words!)

4. My children are always telling me off for saying sorry all the time.

5. I used to study whales in Newfoundland, dressed in nothing but wellies (only on hot days)

6. I used to keep Shetland sheep which I sheared using a pair of kitchen scissors.

7. I'm expert at wringing chickens necks (but I suppose you didn't really want to know that!)

Please note there are two children's authors called Nicola Davies which our systems are unable to tell apart. The books Star in the Custard, Shampoo and Seawater, and Stories from Abergele Street are not written by this Nicola Davies. Apologies.

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Book Info


48 pages
Interest Age: From 5


Nicola Davies
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Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

4th September 2014




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