A girl loses her beloved brothers when they are turned into swans by her wicked stepmother. She embarks on a vital quest with one purpose: to find them and turn them back into boys again. But the task is complicated. She must pick nettles with her bare hands and turn them to yarn, to spin and knit into shirts for each of the eleven brothers. And all the while she cannot speak, for if she does, even so much as a whisper, it will be like a knife in the heart of each swan-boy. And so she knits in silence. And where there is silence, people will put words.
The Wild Swans is a beautiful and lyrical extended version of the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen in Jackie Morris's enchanting retelling, complete with delicate watercolor paintings throughout this new edition. A story about love and bravery, about how to listen, and about how, when we do not listen, we hear what we wish to hear.
Jackie Morris is a writer and artist. She studied illustration at Hereford College of Arts and Bath Academy and has written and illustrated more than fifteen books. The Lost Words, co-authored with Robert Macfarlane, won the Kate Greenaway Medal 2019, and Morris was nominated again for The Unwinding in 2021. She lives in Pembrokeshire. @JackieMorrisArt
“Jackie Morris’s The Wild Swans is a dreamy retold fairy tale that’s full of hope, beauty, and love.” — Foreword
"Beautiful, lyrical and lovely." — Joanne Harris
"A quiet masterpiece . . . a love story, a hope story, a story out of time, out of stricture, out of the narrow artificial bounds by which we try to contain the wild wonderland of reality because we are too frightened to live wonder-stricken." — Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
"The tales feel like half-remembered dreams, peopled with fairytale characters and magnificent creatures." — Rebecca Armstrong, i Paper Best Books of 2020