Varenka (Hardcover)

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Varenka (Hardcover)


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A story of friendship and faith.

Varenka lives contently in her cottage in the woods, until passersby warn her that war has broken out. Pack up a bundle and come along with us. But Varenka can’t leave. 

Who will care for the children who wander and get lost in the forest? Who will shelter the animals and feed the birds when winter comes? 

Soon, Varenka shelters a young artist, an old farmer and his goat, and a lost child. And each night she prays for a wall to be built around her house to protect her from the soldiers who draw nearer with each passing day. Things seem dire until Varenka notices a gentle sound all around the house. Snow. Could it be enough to save them? 

This is a Bernadette Watts classic with its timeless message of courage, compassion, and faith.

“A master in choosing a palette.”—Eric Carle 

STARRED REVIEW "The resemblance to current-day displacement due to war is hauntingly similar... the Byzantine-like faces are beautifully crafted in soft pastel colors, while Watts’s writing follows traditional folktale cadence.
– School Library Journal
Bernadette Watts, known throughout Europe simply as Bernadette, has illustrated many dozens of folk- and fairy tales. Born in England, she loved to draw from childhood. She studied at the Maidstone Art School in Kent, UK, and for some time was taught by Brian Wildsmith and David Hockney. Bernadette’s many beautiful books include The Snow Queen and The Little Drummer Boy. Bernadette finds her inspiration in nature. Today she lives and works in Kent. She has been illustrating for NorthSouth Books and NordSüd Verlag since the beginning of her career fifty years ago.
Product Details ISBN: 9780735845077
ISBN-10: 0735845077
Publisher: NorthSouth Books
Publication Date: October 25th, 2022
Pages: 32
Language: English
Bernadette discusses how her story, once thought to be based on a Russian legend, actually came to publication originally in 1971:

Varenka was written shortly after Hans Millerman. It was a long time ago, but I recall it was a time in my life I loved to write, lots of stories, notebooks, diaries, accounts of journeys and holidays. I also loved reading, especially travel books, and I read a lot about Russia and Siberia. I think Varenka came from my reading about the 1917 Russian Revolution, and also my idea how Russian landscape might look. Varenka and Hans Millerman are the two books which people still write to me about.”
— Interview with Bernadette Watts