The Circles in the Sky

Product Details
$18.99  $17.66
Candlewick Studio
Publish Date
8.08 X 11.06 X 0.37 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author
Karl James Mountford is an illustrator who works in both traditional and digital media. He illustrated the picture books Maurice the Unbeastly by Amy Dixon and The Curious Case of the Missing Mammoth by Ellie Hattie as well as book covers and chapter illustrations for adult titles. He lives and works in Wales, where his sketchbooks rarely get a day off.
Mountford does dual duty in giving voice to both the confusion that comes with death and a template on how to be there for those in pain. . . . Speaking to heart and eye in equal measures, a beautiful treatise on remembering life and helping those left behind.
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The stylized illustrations capture this exploration of the tangible and intangible with a graceful beauty, balancing movement and energy against a background of stillness. . . . Visual details emphasize the dance between life and death. . . Mountford lets those visuals speak for themselves, allowing his readers to feel the weight of Fox's emotions and subtly placing Bird's death in the context of all living things. . . .Taken as a whole, this is a poignant, aspirational model of reckoning with death's immediate permanence as well as its unknowability.
--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

Deeply affecting. . . Stylized visual elements--geometric borders that work as hills, circles for heavenly bodies, and seemingly buried skeletons whose faint presence appears alongside the living creatures' own--offer layers of reality echoed by intuitively pitched lines that capture youth's first encounter with death's finality, and with the experience of saying goodbye.
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

This original fable of Fox and Moth's reckoning with death is both earnest and sensitive in its approach to loss and grief. . . . An apt selection for children grappling with the sorrow and pain of loss.
--The Horn Book

Reminiscent of a folktale, this picture book provides a profound exploration of death in nature. . . . Mountford's digital illustrations are geometric, replete with colorful concentric circles and parallel lines in patterns that seem to symbolize order and harmony in the natural world. Students will appreciate this title's gentle wisdom and comfort and may even find it useful for their own healing process of grief.
--School Library Connection