Miaka written by Anne-Louise Channon & Illustrated by Beatriz Martin Vidal
Published by Windy Hollow Books
In the front pages, we find Miaka. A stunning owl, sketched with golden wings and brown and grey highlights.
We meet Anya, a little girl who lives in a land of snow and ice, with her father; a farmer and mother; a seamstress.
Anya’s most prized possession is her beautiful bird Miaka. When winter ravages the land, Anya’s family suffer greatly. Eventually, Anya’s mother and father are unable to care for her.
Anya is sent to live with the Baker and his wife, but not without her precious Miaka. Anya must work for the grain to feed Miaka and work she does. Kneading dough and scrubbing tables, but it’s not enough. The Baker and his wife agree to sell the bird, but before the patron can collect, Anya sets it free.
Anya watches as her best and most beloved friend, flies off into the sky.
“Be happy my friend,” she murmurs.
This is a sweet yet sorrowful tale, as we journey along with Anya. Although her world is crumbling, she stays true to her friend, and with great sacrifice, sets him free. The chrome and golden illustrations draw us in to heart of the story, the rawness of Anya’s plight and the unfailing beauty of her golden bird and their golden friendship.
Many times through life we hear the old adage, “If you love something set it free.” The love and devotion expressed in the pages of this stunning book, certainly draws on those heart strings, impelling the reader to put themselves in Anya’s shoes, and challenging us to ponder if we would do the same thing in her situation.
I believe this book is a wonderful way to demonstrate the concept of love and sacrifice.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Anne-Louise Channon
Illustrator: Beatriz Martin Vidal
Publisher: Windy Hollow Books
Published: April 2014