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Geraldine McCaughrean is a children's author who has written more than 150 books, including "Peter Pan in Scarlet," the only official sequel to "Peter Pan," and had her work translated into 42 languages worldwide. She has won several major children's book prizes, including the Carnegie Medal in Literature, the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, and the Michael L. Printz Award, and is the only author to have won the Whitbread Award three times. Jana Diemberger is an artist and illustrator.
REVIEWS "This story is very unique. It is beautifully illustrated with a very eye-catching cover. It tells the story of Monacello the little monk, searching for his mother in Italy after being abandoned as a baby. Raised to be poor, dirty and ugly, the city folk deem him to be 'bad luck'. It runs along with a great textual rhythm and the plot is simple but imaginative, moving and absorbing all in one. Perfect for children and adults. The landscape within this world will stay with you for days. I really look forward to reading the sequel." -- WATERSTONE'S. "There are so many poignant and poetic gems scattered throughout this haunting tale. The quality of McCaughrean's writing is stunningly original and the effectiveness of the descriptive, emotive language, creates a multi-layered and memorable story. Combined as it is, with stylish and atmospheric illustrations, Monacello has all the qualities of a classic fairy-tale. The themes of sadness and loneliness are woven so elegantly through the action-packed storyline that they burrow into the reader's heart, in the same way as the sadness of Monacello and Napolina seems to seep into the heart of the city, affecting even the well- water, so that it brings tears to horses "blue-brown eyes". Unforgettable." -- ARMADILLO MAGAZINE. "McCaughrean's reworking of a classic Italian folk story reads aloud wonderfully with its tale-teller's seeming simplicity and its frequent alliterations and internal rhymes. The menacing illustrations of Jana Diemberger, an artist of Italian/Austrian upbringing, will also invite shared talk between listener and reader. Her choice of viewpoint is often startling and dramatic. The dark, crater-eyes set in the pale moon of the foundling's face haunt the pages. Only once is that face lit by a wan smile when Monacello has reached out to warm Napolina's icy sadness...Designed with such care, this layered tale will demand to be revisited many times." -- BOOKS FOR KEEPS.