Author: Tim Binding
Illustrated by Angela Barrett
ISBN: 978-0-385-75157-5

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British author Tim Binding has written five highly praised adult novels before his recent debut children's book, Sylvie and the Songman. Angela Barrett studied her craft at the Royal College of Art and went on to become an acclaimed children’s book illustrator.

Sylvie and the Songman is a mesmerizing story told from the point of view of a 12 year old girl, Sylvie Bartram. This novel sparkles with expert storytelling and characterization. The setting is by the sea somewhere in Kent, England, where, in fact, Binding presently resides.

Sylvie’s mom has drowned and disappeared in an undertow, while Sylvie’s dad is a "wacky" composer. He plays a myriad of strange instruments like the shinglechord, the featherblow bellows,  the furrughla, the cluttercloud and the harmonograph. All designed to replicate  “the songs of the sea, of the earth and the most precious of all, the songs of the animals.” Together with Sylvie, he discovers the ultimate note, writes it down and is to present it at a special concert.

It’s the last two days of school, and in their rush to catch the train, her absent minded father puts his discovery into Sylvie’s school bag.

She  looks forward to seeing a  beautiful fox, who always waits for her,  from the train window. On their way to catch the train, she noticed, as well, that the birds were very quiet. She has also noticed, when she went to the zoo with her dad, that the tiger was the only animal who could roar. All the other animals were mute. Even her own dog, Mr. Jackson, has lost his voice.

At this point, we are introduced to a few more "wacky" characters as her teacher, Miss Coates, her music teacher,  and some strange commuters on the train. Her best friend George, overweight and shy is a kite expert. He is supposed to have a sleep over at Sylvie’s house. When she goes home, Sylvie’s dad has disappeared, apparently kidnapped.

Determined to find her father, Georges, her best friend and Mr. Jackson in tow, they  are drawn into the nightmarish world of the Songman, who is looking for the ultimate note her father has composed. They are haunted by the terrifying Woodpecker Man in his swan powered flying balloon, in a world where nothing can sing and no one can talk.  Only Sylvie can save the earth from this terrible, voiceless fate.

Will Sylvie give The Songman the ultimate note discovered by her dad? Will she find her dad?

 With twists and turns as well as thrilling adventure and enchanting fantasy, Tim Binding’s Sylvie and the Songman brims with music and magic. The author’s imagination runs wild and keeps your attention with a galloping pursuit. It is an exciting albeit scary tale told with sensitivity and originality.

 This magical novel is enhanced by Angela Barrett’s delicate and exquisite pictures.

Click Here To Purchase Sylvie and the Songman