Hofmeyr, Dianne: The Glassmaker's Daughter.
The Glassmaker's Daughter
Illustrated by Jane Ray
Frances Lincoln, 2017, pp32, 12.99 [pounds sterling]
978 1 84780 676 5
Fans of Jane Ray will expect another beautiful book from her, and they will not be disappointed by this. Diane Hofmeyr cleverly sets this well-known tale in Venice (N.B. geek-fact: 2017 was the 725th anniversary of the Venetian law which banished glassmaking to the island of Murano!) which gives plenty of scope for luscious settings and costumes.
Princess Daniela is grumpy and never laughs, and her father has promised a glass palace to the man who can make her smile. However, as in all good folk tales, it is a simple lad, a young glassmaker, who finally succeeds. He has made her a mirror and sung a secret song, and he invites her to look into it. (Mirror-making was once a specialised skill in itself.) Her own grumpy face, 'with a mouth like an upside-down piece of lemon and the eyes of a cross dragon' at last makes her frown lines disappear, and she smiles, then laughs, and at the sound of her laughter the glass palace shatters. Jane Ray has been nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2018 by IBBY UK. Diane Hofmeyr is a well-established author with a lovely poetic style, and this partnership's Zeraffa Giraffa was critically acclaimed last year. We can only wonder what they will produce next ...