Heartsong by Kevin Crossley-Holland

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award An extraordinary illustrated tale set within the dark mystery of Venice and composer Vivaldi's life about an orphan who finds her voice and future through the healing power of music - created by two award-winning literary greats


Heartsong by Kevin Crossley-Holland

An orphan with no voice but an extraordinary musical gift. A man of music who discovers her gift. Heartsong is spell-binding tale about the healing power of music set against the mystery and beauty of Venice. A very special present for music-loving readers The Times Atmospheric The Times Abandoned at the orphanage in Venice as a baby, Laura has never spoken. Her life is transformed when the composer Vivaldi unlocks her passion for music. The seasons turn, dark turns to light and miracles happen. Carnegie award-winning author, Kevin Crossley-Holland makes every word a masterstroke. This short novel is exquisitely illustrated by acclaimed artist, Jane Ray. Her work is inspired by Vivaldi's Four Seasons and the real girls and boys who lived and laughed and worked in the Venetian Orphanage.


This is a spectacular book ... it is part social history, part mystery and part haunting love story ... A quiet, heart-soaring triumph The Big Issue

Ray's illustrations are exquisite. A very special present for music-loving readers aged seven and above The Times

Award-winner Kevin Crossley-Holland is a beautiful writer and this haunting story is simply stunning. Destined to be a future classic, it is complimented by the exquisite illustrations by Jane Ray Manchester Evening News

Crossley-Holland's limpid prose matches Ray's diaphanous watercolour images perfectly, evoking 18th-century Venice in all its gaudy grandeur and bringing to life someone who would not otherwise have been even a footnote in history Financial Times

A ravishing object and a touching poetic tale ... Altogether lovely The Sunday Times

This is a jewel of a book carefully crafted by two experienced master storytellers who have worked together to create a memorable life affirming story based around the power of music to transform lives. The Letterpress Project

Vivaldi's Four Seasons provides the background to an elegant story of a mute girl's discovery of her voice. Irish Times

A lovely curiosity ... This is Kevin Crossley-Holland's take on her story, with poinant, detailed drawings by Jane Ray The Spectator

This very special short novel is a work that could surely unlock poetry in the soul of the most pragmatic reader Teach Primary

About the Author

Kevin Crossley-Holland

Kevin Crossley-Holland was born in 1941 in Mursley, North Buckinghamshire, and grew up in Whiteleaf, a village in the Chiltern hills of western England. He attended Oxford University, where after failing his first exams, he developed his passion for Anglo-Saxon literature. After graduating, he was the Gregory Fellow in Poetry at the University of Leeds, and from 1972–1977, he lectured in Anglo-Saxon for the Tufts University of London program. He worked as a children's book editor while beginning to write his own poems and reinterpretations of medieval legends. He has also taught for extended periods in America. He now lives in Norfolk, England.

Kevin Crossley-Holland has published six volumes of adult poetry and several libretti for opera. In the world of children's books, he is best known for his numerous retellings and anthologies, and in particular his version of Beowulf. "Storm," his novella, won the Carnegie Medal in 1985.

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Book Info


128 pages
Interest Age: From 6


Kevin Crossley-Holland
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Publication date

6th October 2016




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