The Emperor's Nightingale and Other Feathery Tales by Jane Ray

The Emperor's Nightingale and Other Feathery Tales

Written by Jane Ray
Illustrated by Jane Ray

5+ readers   7+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Award-winning Jane Ray’s stunning illustrations beautifully capture the twelve folk and fairy tales she retells in this lovely collection of her own favourite stories taken from around the world. All feature birds of many kinds – real and imaginary. There are traditionally popular stories such as Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince, The Owl and the Pussycat and Jorinda and Joringel and as well as other less well-known tales such as Heron and Hummingbird, a Native American story from the Hitchiti people which take readers into the heart of other cultures. Handsomely produced, this is a wonderful collection to share especially through reading aloud.

A Piece of Passion from David Bennett, Publisher, Boxer Books

Jane Ray is one of my favourite story tellers - fluent, poetic, easy to follow, full of anticipation and they deliver drama that makes at a pace! The thought of working with Jane was exciting enough, but when I said let's not use the beautiful colour pieces she had produced and instead, just use the little scraperboard and ink drawings and add colour digitally...I drew a breath. Jane launched into this series with gusto and has produced something totally fresh for herself and Boxer - fantastic partnership.


The Emperor's Nightingale and Other Feathery Tales by Jane Ray

This is the first extraordinary volume of tales collected, retold and illustrated by Jane Ray, one of the world’s leading artists of stunning picture books. This volume, The Emperor’s Nightingale and Other Feathery Tales, includes many favourites such as The Happy Prince,
The Owl and The Pussy Cat, and lesser known, but equally enjoyable stories such as Jorinda and Joringel.

About the Author

Jane Ray

As a child

Jane Ray grew up in Muswell Hill, London, in a house full of books and music (her father is a pianist). She always loved to paint and draw and first started making books at the age of five. She never much enjoyed going to school as it was an interruption to what she really wanted to do and she still can’t believe that she is actually able to earn a living, staying at home and painting and drawing.

As an adult

Jane trained at art school in 3-dimensional design (ceramics, glass-blowing, furniture and jewellery design) but came back to illustration which is what she always wanted to do when she graduated. She has worked, among other things, as a life model, a special needs teacher, a telephone cleaner and a mural artist. She has three children and works from a very nice shed at the bottom of the garden.

As an artist

Jane started out, after leaving art school, by designing greetings cards, wrapping paper, book jackets and posters, and selling her paintings. However, the making of picture books has become the most important aspect of her work and she has recently begun to write as well as illustrate. She finds the picture book to be the most satisfying of art forms. She often goes into schools to talk about her books and to work with children and finds this a stimulating alternative to the blank sheet of paper.

Things you didn't know about Jane Ray:

1. Favourite food – Sunday roast with all the trimmings and all the family.
2. She has two cats.
3. She used to play the cello.
4. She doesn’t like grapefruit.
5. She wishes she could play the piano.
6. She likes to sing in the bath.
7. She doesn’t drink tea.
8. She’d be a teacher if she wasn’t an illustrator, or she’d have a flower stall.
9. She likes English weather!
10. She loves her garden studio and works there every day, after a two-mile walk each morning.

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Book Info


176 pages


Jane Ray
More books by Jane Ray

Author's Website


Boxer Books Limited

Publication date

5th September 2013




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