A fairy tale about how one colourful feather and a child’s imagination can save the people of a small, ubiquitously grey town from an evil wizard.
One day, a dazzling, colourful bird called Phoenix wanders into a land where the people live without hope or joy. But not even the all-pervading greyness can disguise this bird’s beautiful brightly coloured feathers. Although the evil wizard’s soldiers try with all their might to destroy the bird, they are unsuccessful and he flies away. However, he leaves behind a feather which some children find, and with its help they breathe new life back into the land. A fairy tale in which the traditional struggle between good and evil is depicted as the contrast between greyness and colour. Feathers are part of the flyleaf. The book is also suitable as a first reader.
Illustrated by Vlasta Baránková
“The author finishes with an important message: Watch out, we must stay alert – the darkness and greyness could return… This age-old story of struggling against evil and authoritarian forces (King Šedomur is based on old folklore archetypes) unfolds through Vlasta Baránková’s words and pictures. The narration is intensified by the illustrations which range from shades of grey to bright colours.”
—Nejlepší knihy dětem (Best Children’s Books) catalogue
About the author:
Vlasta Baránková (1943) has illustrated almost one hundred books. She has worked on books with folklore subjects and contemporary children’s stories for renowned publishing houses in the Czech Republic, as well as for international writers for the Swiss publishers Bohem Press. At the start of her career she worked in graphic design and the typographic editing of children’s books, and since the 1990s she has mainly focused on children’s illustrations. Her illustrations are characterized by an unbridled imagination, warmth and precise technique. Baránková has presented her books at dozens of exhibitions in the Czech Republic and abroad.