Wayland by Tony Mitton


Wayland by Tony Mitton

Out of the lands in the chill, far north come legends from long ago. This is the story of Wayland Smith, the strangest of all I know. This beautifully told tale reinvents the northern legend of Wayland the blacksmith, whose craft and skill spread his fame far and wide. But Wayland's talents bring him nothing but pain. Following the loss of his swan-bride and his enslavement by a greedy king, Wayland has to rely on hope, courage and cunning to get by. I've read nothing so enthralling for a long time. Tony Mitton's verse rings with the power and clarity of an ancient ballad, and is perfectly matched by the force and splendour of John Lawrence's illustrations...I think it's a marvellous piece of work, and I'm sure anyone who reads it will agree . (Philip Pullman).

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Thrillingly robust, this book is an eternal rallying cry to the heroism of artists, and one every reader should treasure. (Children's Book of the Week) -- Amanda Craig The Times Stunning ... It was a real joy to read something so thoughtfully and artfully crafted. Like the ancient ballads of the North, Mitton's words flow freely and easily with all the lyrical grace of a song. -- Rebecca Davies Independent blog Wayland is a supreme craftsman, and his story, gorgeously retold by the award-winning poet Tony Mitton, makes the hairs on your neck rise up ... It is a delight to find a new picture book which should stand the test of time. -- Amanda Craig The Times The book is beautifully illustrated by John Lawrence's rich engravings and is a picture book for older readers which introduces Norse and Anglo-Saxon poetry and legends. There is also a lot of potential for discussion around the value of art. -- Susanna Thomson Carousel John Lawrence's wonderful wood engravings are earthy and robust and bring the text vividly to life. Historical Novel Society Review

About the Author

Tony Mitton

Tony Mitton was born in 1951 in North Africa, the son of a soldier. Until he was 9 he lived mostly in Africa, Germany and Hong Kong. He went to state boarding school in Suffolk and went on to do an English Literature degree at Cambridge University. He then trained to be an English teacher before making the switch to primary school teaching.

Tony worked as a primary school teacher between the ages of 25 to 49, but for the last 13 years of that period he taught part-time. During that period he began to spend 2 or 3 days a week working at his writing, and wrote poems and stories for school reading books and also for trade market books. He now writes full-time and visits lots of schools, libraries and events to talk about his work.

He lives in a small house in the middle of Cambridge with his wife and two children, and a cat called Tiggy, who is definitely one of the family. Tony likes Cambridge but he and his wife often wish they'd settled somewhere where there are better places for walking, like cliffs and hills with good views of the landscape.

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Book Info


64 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Tony Mitton
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Publication date

5th September 2013



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