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Heartsong: A Storybook Duet

Saturday 9 April 2016

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Travel to 18th-century Venice with author-illustrator team Kevin Crossley-Holland and Jane Ray and explore stories of the city’s famous orphanage, the Ospedale della Pietà, and its music master Antonio Vivaldi.

A few scribbled notes in Ray’s sketchbook made during an afternoon in the Vivaldi Museum in Venice inspired the beautiful Heartsong. Ray filled her sketchbook with drawings – shadows and reflections, the soft greeny-grey of the water, the face of an abandoned little girl. They in turn inspired Crossley-Holland to write about one of the Ospedale’s orphans in a story filled with silence, magic and music. Hear them talk about their book, see Ray’s sketches and illustrations and listen to some live music, including passages from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons played on the flute by Flavia Hirte.

Ray has illustrated numerous children’s books, including Fairy Tales by Berlie Doherty, The King of Capri by Jeanette Winterson, The Lost Happy Endings by Carol Ann Duffy and Moonbird by Joyce Dunbar. She has also written her own stories including Can You Catch a Mermaid?, The Dolls House Fairy and Ahmed and the Feather Girl.

Crossley-Holland’s Arthur trilogy was translated into 25 languages and has sold well over one million copies. He is a poet, historical novelist for children and authority on traditional tale who has presented many BBC radio programmes and is a frequent speaker at schools and libraries. He is the president of the School Library Association, a patron of the Society of Storytelling, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Age 7+