“Set in the hot houses of a stately home in eighteenth century England, a gardener falls from grace when the Duke sets him the impossible task of growing prize pineapples fit to show off in high society. The gardener’s star falls further when he is replaced by Mr Amicus, a pineapple ‘specialist’, whom he believes to be a charlatan and a trickster - but nevertheless miraculously produces fruit to delight the Duke.
“Determined to uncover Mr Amicus’s tricks, the gardener sneaks into the pineapple house to uncover the mysterious shrouded birdcage Mr Amicus carries with him. And what he finds changes his life forever.”
“I have no idea how long I have been incarcerated in these ancient walls … Let me explain how I find myself in this predicament…”
This very short but beautiful picture book for older readers and teenagers contains magic, mystery, love and loss within just a few pages. It packs a punch almost immediately, with the appearance of the suspicious and conniving character of Mr Amicus - what he has hidden in the greenhouse to grow the pineapples the Duke is wishing for?
I devoured this in about ten minutes, and I would highly recommend it to reluctant and unconfident readers. The illustrations are beautifully crafted and the story takes me back to the fairy tales I loved as a child.
The Wind in the Wall is a beautifully illustrated fairy tale/myth with a cautionary tale: be careful what you wish for! Give it a read - it will charm you in no time.