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Lita Judge is the author and illustrator of twenty fiction and non-fiction picture books, which have received numerous awards. Mary’s Monster was inspired by reading Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s journals while exploring places they travelled. Creating this book was a journey in itself, and took five years to complete. Before she created art and books, Lita was a geologist and worked on dinosaur digs. But a trip to Venice with her husband inspired her to pursue a lifelong passion for creating art. Now, when not in her studio, she can be found backpacking with her sketchbook and easel in hand Lita lives in New Hampshire, USA.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2019 | Shot through with passion, tension and tragedy, this stunningly illustrated biographical verse novel explores Mary Shelley’s extraordinary life, from her birth to pioneering mother of modern feminism, Mary Wollstonecraft, to her writing of Frankenstein and beyond. It’s the story of the original female teen rebel, of an exceptional young woman who forged her own path and refused to be silenced even when family and friends cast her aside. The framing of Mary’s rebellious life within her mother’s is perfectly expressed: “Mary Wollstonecraft was mother to a rebellion/before she was mother to me.” Though they only had eleven days together, young Mary connects with Wollstonecraft through her books: “Her thoughts and ideas reach across the space of time/and come alive and lodge inside my chest.” In her early teenage years she meets the married poet Shelley and in an instant “the entire landscape of my existence changes”. After vowing in her mother’s revolutionary spirit that “Shelley and I will fight our own/and set the word on its edge”, she and Shelley flee to Paris, then Switzerland, their passion ablaze. Soon after, impoverished and pregnant, she returns to England a shamed figure and then comes tragedy. At seventeen she is “daughter to a ghost and mother to bones”. Of course, she rises and returns to Switzerland where she creates the most memorable of literary monsters among the artistic madness of Shelley and Byron. Suffused in the indomitable spirit of its subject, this beautiful book is a triumph of biographical storytelling.
A wordless picture book – only the sounds of the sledge and its riders on the snow are spelt out - and set in a deeply snowy landscape, this is beautifully warm hearted story for a wintery night. When a child leaves his much loved sledge outside the back door for the night he has no idea of the adventures it will have while he sleeps! Only the footprints in the snow give the game away. Soon, he is joining in too! Simple illustrations tell this story perfectly.