THE MUSIC OF FOLK TALES: The Quiet Music Of Gently Falling Snow by Jackie Morris

Over 15 years ago, best-selling author and illustrator Jackie Morris was commissioned by  the charity Help Musicians UK to create designs for Christmas Cards. Each of the 16 images, filled with complex detail and exquisite rendering were produced at the rate of one per year. As you can imagine, these were the type of Christmas cards that you held onto, gazed at over and over again and cherished.
Based on those images, Jackie created this book, which has now been republished in a compact gift edition...

author/illustrator: Jackie Morris 
Graffeg Ltd. (20 August 2020)
ISBN: 9781912654987
A lyrical collection of interconnected folk-tale type stories that have been "worked backwards" (in Jackies' own words) woven in and around the commissioned illustrations, this book is simply extraordinary.
The stories unfold intuitively, creating a landscape and journey fired by the ever-present music that establishes a path of sound and feeling. There is a flow; a continuity in the tales as the characters and their circumstances fold into and unfold out of each other. A familiar sense of iconography; those time-honoured fairy and folk tales shimmers in the back of each story, and yet there exists here something new, something unheard before. These are not just retellings/reworkings of old tales; these are newly born creatures that have been waiting for their change to emerge for eons.
As we lose ourselves in each illustration and the remarkable, intricate detail and palette, we see how the stories are indeed just sitting there, waiting for birth and interpretation. Their iconography helps us define ourselves, as all good folk tales should. And they are just so beautiful; filled with emotion and meaning; filled with subtle colour and line.
We find that the music at the centre of the book are not songs we have learned and practiced, but songs of the soul, of the heart that carry the journey along with an evocation of our own being.
Not really a "childrens' book", this is written so it speaks to everyone. While appealing to adults as a wonderful gift, I would also think it would reach out to the teen/young adult audience, as so many fairytale retellings are coming forth for this age group. But, traditionally, fairy and folk tales were not created for children, but as a guide so that, as we grow and age, we do not lose our sense of who we are and where we belong. The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow does that admirably...and with soul-songs to carry us along.


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