The Promise by Nicola Davies

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Shortlisted for The Little Rebels Children's Book Award 2014. This is a picture books of great beauty and hope about the power we have to transform our world. The Promise is the 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.


The Promise by Nicola Davies

On a mean street in a mean city, a thief tries to snatch an old woman's bag. But she finds she can't have it without promising something in return - to plant them all . When it turns out the bag is full of acorns, the young thief embarks on a journey that changes her own life and the lives of others for generations to come. Inspired by the belief that a relationship with nature is essential to every human being, and that now, more than ever, we need to renew that relationship, this is a story with a strong green message. It features remarkable design and illustrations. It is lavishly produced with jacket.


A story of personal and ecological redemption, The Promise is a moving and didactic story. Recommended Reads a poignant, honest and lyrical story Bath Magazine simple but magical fable ... beautiful and sophisticated book Booktrust A lovely book -- Simon Barnes The Times a beautiful picture book for young children. Tender and touching, and delivering a vital message for our time ... I think it truly deserves to become a classic Awfully Big Blog Adventure One part Melvin Burgess, one part Rachel Carson ... I was floored Playing by the Book This is a book that I would love to give to every child ... I was captivated ... beautiful, both in its presentation and its message of hope Kids

... a book to treasure and to return to again and again, providing an inspiring, touching and life-affirming tale -- Catherine Larner BBC Radio Suffolk One of my favourite picture books of the year Jackie Morris, illustrator of How the Whale Became by Ted Hughes a powerful, moving and inspiring story to treasure Suffolk What would a world without greenery be like? Laura Carlin knows. This is her first picture book and it is superb. She plunges us into a haunting, hunted, feral world of greys, off-whites and beiges where the people have downturned mouths. The narrator steals an old lady's bag - expecting money or food and finds: acorns. You can guess the rest as she goes on a plantathon transforming roundabouts, abandoned parks and lifeless streets. Nicola Davies's tale of transformation is timely, compelling and beautifully told. Seeds for thought. -- Kate Kellaway The Guardian This is a most lovely book with which to inspire everyone ... Even the grey static city illustrated at the beginning has its own stark beauty, but by the end the pages are glowing with colour and movement Norfolk Library Service Holds up a mirror to our dying, degraded cities, and then, with a simple gesture, present us with a most beautiful and transformational resolution ... What is most profound about The Promise is that Nicola Davies takes a complex issue like urban decay, and shows us in simple, elegant prose the human cost - in a state of nature deficit, we cannot thrive... a deeply moving and gloriously illustrated book that does not shy away from scenes of despair, nor does it suffer from a failure of the imagination, like so many other stories with an environmental message. On the contrary, Davies and Carlin envision a brighter, more communal, and nature-abundant future, in the actionable now 32 Pages A story about hope, community and change. It sends a positive message about the power we have as an individual to make a positive impact on our surroundings... he book reminds us that it is essential for us to coexist with nature in harmony and balance, that the protection and respect of nature is crucial for the survival for all species on our planet Magpie That

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

5th September 2013




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