The Boy, the Bird and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods

When a devastating plague sweeps through his little town, Alberto loses his whole family and the once happy and successful furniture-maker now applies his care and skill to making coffins. But when a mysteriously silent boy appears, Alberto’s life transforms. Their remarkable friendship brings unimaginable dangers – and this good but ordinary man must find extraordinary courage to save his friend.

Refreshingly original, The Boy, the Bird & the Coffin Maker is an imaginative story which skilfully draws on a number of sources. It has an enchanting fable-like quality, offering richly detailed scenes and truly unforgettable characters. It explores themes of good versus evil, hope in the face of adversity, and the power of love and friendship to overcome grief. The story is lovingly crafted, taking its time to paint wonderful emotional and geographic landscapes, without sacrificing the story’s pacing or sense of adventure.

A wonderful read-aloud story to share with the whole family. Don’t miss this beautifully written book, full of glorious illustrations that are guaranteed to tantalise readers. Highly recommended for ages 9+.

Athina Clarke