The Promise by Nicola Davies

The Promise by Nicola Davies
The Promise by Nicola Davies

today’s children storybook summary is

The promise

By Nicola Davies

Illustration by Laura Carlin

Storyline: Our character lives in a city where nothing grows, where people are harsh and mean, and where everything is grey and nobody smiles. Her heart is shriveled and she lives by stealing from people like her, who have only as much as they need to survive. She is a thief crawling the dark streets in search of easy victims to prey. One night she sees an old woman with a big bag. She attacks her thinking that it will be an easy steal. The old woman holds on to her bag, “with the strength of heroes”. Finally, she tells the thief she’ll let go is the girl makes a promise. The girl, who was only thinking about money and food inside the bag and didn’t quite care anyway, agrees and the woman lets go of the bag. The thief runs away and when she feels safe she opens the bag and sees…acorns. And she had promise to plant them.

She sees the opportunity to change her life and her city’s life. She starts planting the acorns everywhere. Little by little the seeds sprout and frail trees are growing everywhere. At first people are curious, then they smiled, then they talked and laughed, and finally, they started planting too. Soon, there were flowers, trees, fruits and vegetables, birds and insects everywhere.

Our thief girl is now happy but her mission continues. Seeing what wonder had happened in her town, she goes on another grey and mean city and keeps planting acorns. And so on…Everywhere she goes, she harvests what she sows.

Characters: girl thief, old woman

Illustration: Laura Carlin is the illustrator of this book. She has done a remarkable work bringing to live, page by page, a story of transformation. From the gray, dark blue and brawn with an occasional line of white, to vivid colored sides she is bringing back to life the very city described in the book. As the girl plants the acorns, the art work follows her with a touch of spring at first, to the full blast of summer, from sadness to joy, the transition is complete.  Her illustration is both realistic and schematic with a soft touch on trivial details that completes the written story.

Age: n/a

Medal/Awards: 2014 English Association Picture Book award for best fiction.

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