A graceful and humorous retelling of a Hans Christian Andersen classic. The Emperor of China lives in the most marvellous palace in the world, made completely of porcelain, and his garden is full of the rarest flowers. Yet loveliest of all, say visitors to his realm, is the song of the nightingale in the forest by the sea. The Emperor has never heard this nightingale, and even his courtiers, searching far and wide, cannot find her. It takes a gentle kitchen maid, true of heart, to draw the humble nightingale to court. The Emperor is enchanted by the bird's sweet song - until a bejewelled version with a mechanical tune arrives. Will the mighty ruler learn too late the value of what is simple and genuine?
Stephen Mitchell is a renowned writer, translator and anthologist. His thirty books for children and adults include The Frog Prince, Tao Te Ching and The Enlightened Heart. Of this retelling of Andersen's famous tale, he says, The Nightingale is one of the most charming children's stories ever written. I have tried to make my version light, clear, swift, and funny. This is Stephen Mitchell's first title for Walker Books. Bagram Ibatoulline was born in Russia and graduated from the State Academic Institute of Arts in Moscow. He is the illustrator of Crossing, a picture-book edition of Philip Booth's poem, and has worked in the fields of fine arts, graphic arts, mural design and textile design. He says, The Nightingale has always been one of my favourite stories. While illustrating the book, I paid close attention to the tale's delicate story line and tried to portray its nature. Bagram Ibatoulline lives in New Jersey, USA.