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Richard Johnson Illustrates Birdsong by Katya Balen

Katya Balen's emotive words along with Richard Johnson's atmospheric imagery interlace perfectly in this stunning story about the power of music and nature.

Birdsong, published on 7th July by Barrington Stoke, is a perfectly structured novella that is a real page-turner and ideal for dyslexic and reluctant readers. 

After a devastating car crash, Annie is unable to play her flute and retreats from the music she's always loved.

She exists in a world of angry silence - furious with her mum and furious she can't seem to play her beloved flute any more. Then she meets Noah, who shows her the blackbirds' nest hidden in the scrubland near their flats. As their friendship grows, the blackbirds' glorious song reignites Annie's passion for music. But when tragedy strikes again, will her fragile progress be put at risk?

Author Katya Balen a rising star in children's publishing in the UK who has just won the 2022 Yoto Carnegie Award for her book October, October, published by Bloomsbury. 

Richard’s expressive illustrations are pitch-perfect for this beautiful text. 

Richard Johnson is represented by Arena Illustration.

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