Riverside Junior School

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Riverside Junior School

English - The Promise

On the dark streets of a city that is mean and hard and ugly, a young thief tries to steal an old lady's bag. But the old lady hangs on with unexpected strength, only at last agreeing to give up her bag if the thief will make a promise in return. When she discovers that the bag does not contain money and food, but only acorns, the young thief finally begins to understand the promise she has made. As she travels through the city, she plants acorns on roads and roundabouts, among rubble and by train tracks, embarking on the first steps of a journey that will transform the world around her - and her own life - in ways she could never have imagined.


Written by Nicola Davies, with illustrations by acclaimed illustrator Laura Carlin, this is a stunning picture book about the power of nature. From the subdued grey tones of the earliest pages, to the vibrant colour of the sumptuous final spreads, Carlin's beautiful and evocative illustrations, in a combination of watercolour, pastel and crayon, bring to life Davies' simple but magical fable. This beautiful and sophisticated book will be appreciated by parents and children alike.


Nicola Davies is the author of more than 50 books for children: fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her work has been published in more than 10 different languages and has won major awards in the UK, US, France, Italy and Germany.


Nicola trained as a zoologist, taking a degree in Natural Sciences from King's College, Cambridge. She spent some years as a field biologist and studied humpback and sperm whales, and bats, before joining the BBC Natural History Unit as a researcher and then presenter.


Following the start of her writing career, Nicola became a senior lecturer in creative writing, at Bath Spa University but has been writing full time for over a decade. She now regularly runs workshops for children and adults to help them find their voices as writers and advocates for nature. In 2017, she was the first recipient of the SLA’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Non-fiction and in 2018 had four picture books longlisted for the Greenaway Award.

Nicola Davies discusses her picture book The Promise

The Promise by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Laura Carlin

The Promise

As read by Nicola Davies.

Laura Carlin talks about illustrating The Promise by Nicola Davies

The Promise is a picture book of great beauty and hope about the power we have to transform our world. In this video Laura Carlin talks about what it was like to illustrate this powerful book. On a mean street in a mean city, a thief tries to snatch an old woman's bag.

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