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The Most Wonderful Thing in the World
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A funny and heart-warming fairy tale about our values by Vivian French, exquisitely illustrated by Angela Barrett. From the author of the Tiara Club series comes a gently satirical fairy story for our times, illustrated by one of today's finest artists, Angela Barrett. When a king and a queen promise to marry their daughter Lucia to the man who can show them the most wonderful thing in the world, suitors descend on the palace bearing gifts. Roses, jewels and exotic birds; dancing girls, wind machines and mythical beasts - but nothing feels quite right. As the last suitor leaves, his weapons of mass destruction rejected, the king and queen are exhausted. But when a shy, young man, who isn't a suitor at all, steps forward, they finally understand what the most wonderful thing in the world really is. Vivian French's masterful retelling of a forgotten story is both funny and heart-warming, and Angela Barrett's breathtaking illustrations give life to an enchanting and romantic fairytale city.
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About the Author

Vivian French is a professional story-teller as well as an acclaimed children's author who has written over 200 books for children and young adults, including Oliver's Vegetables and the Tiara Club series. A tutor in the Illustration Department at Edinburgh College of Art, Vivian is co-founder of Picture Hooks, a mentoring scheme for young illustrators, and in 2012 she was guest selector for the children's programme at the Edinburgh Book Festival. She is amongst the most popular authors in UK libraries - her books are borrowed over half a million times a year. Vivian lives in Edinburgh. Angela Barrett studied at the Royal College of Art with Quentin Blake and is one of Britain's most highly acclaimed illustrators. She has won the Smarties Prize and the WH Smith Illustration Award and has illustrated more than twenty-four books for children, including classic tales, fairy tales, biographies, story collections and picture books. She has also illustrated stamps for Royal Mail. Angela lives in London.

Reviews

Barrett's paintings are exquisitely dreamy and delicate. -- Amanda Craig * The Times * Vivian French is a sublime story-teller. * The Sunday Telegraph * Exquisitely heartfelt -- The Independent * The Independent * Angela Barrett's breathtaking and nostalgic illustrations give life to an enchanting fairytale city full of subtle surprises while French's masterful retelling of the magical story makes this a perfect wedding gift for true romantics. * Lancashire Evening Post * The Most Wonderful Thing In The World is a stunningly beautiful story, both visually and in terms of its content. It's a gorgeous fairy tale about knowing and understanding the true value of things, which is something we all need to be reminded of now and again. Vivian French's satirical story is firmly tongue-in-cheek, but it's also romantic, heart-warming and utterly absorbing. It's a perfect book for readers aged seven and older, who will enjoy the captivating story and pour over the highly detailed drawings by award-winning illustrator Angela Barrett. * Junior * This charming and amusing fairytale set in Venice, and beautifully illustrated by Angela Barrett [...] is a very satisfying story with an equally satisfactory end. * Inis Reading Guide * ...beautifully complemented by Angela Barrett's exquisite illustrations, painted with the skill of a miniaturist. The warmth of the colour palette, the atmospheric use of light, the sumptuous scrollwork and the ornately-framed vignettes result in a rich visual experience. * The School Librarian * The Most Wonderful Thing in the World may also be one of the most beautiful books of the year. In this lovingly crafted fairy tale, the King and Queen decide that they must find a husband for their much-loved daughter. [...] Vivian French tells an enchanting story of love and happiness, stylishly illustrated by Angela Barrett in soft, muted tones. The whole is a joy sure to be enjoyed by readers of all ages. * The Scotsman * This book lives up to its name, for it is a beautiful book brimming with the finest, most magical illustrations. * Cotswold Preview *

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