Daniela the glassmaker’s daughter is grumpy and never smiles. Her father promises a beautiful glass palace to anyone who can make her laugh. People come from far and wide to try their luck in amusing Daniela. But mask makers, lion tamers and magicians cannot raise a smile from the princess. It is only when a young apprentice makes the first looking glass that Daniela learns to smile – at her own grumpy reflection! This beautiful fable set in sixteenth-century Venice features stunning illustrations from award-winning artist Jane Ray alongside a poetic text.
I grew up on the southernmost tip of Africa close to the sea where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean. As a child I loved books and drawing and making up stories. I studied to be an art teacher and I’ve travelled throughout Africa and to the States but also through China, Siberia and Vietnam. Now I live in London – which I love but I think my heart is always a little in Africa so I go back there often.
I used to write novels and won two IBBY Honour books but now I write mostly picture books which are translated into many languages. One story was adapted into a play with a huge almost life-size giraffe.
Jane Ray graduated from Middlesex University in 3D Design. She began her career designing greetings cards, book jackets and posters. Gradually, however, she moved towards children’s book illustration, especially fairy tales, mythology and folktales. Jane’s first picture book for Frances Lincoln was Jinnie Ghost with Berlie Doherty, which was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award. Her other acclaimed picture books include The King of Capri with Jeanette Winterson, Romeo and Juliet with Michael Rosen, and The Dolls’ House Fairy and Snow White, which she both wrote and illustrated. She lives with her family in North London.