Magic Sight

Trylleblik

Magic Sight is a timeless and universal picture book about the unconquerable imagination of children and their amazing ability to play, dream and simply be children. Even under the most impossible conditions.

Through her evocative illustrations, Ane Bjørn gives form to everything that children (and adults) sometimes find challenging to express with words: dreams, fears, sorrow, anger and imagination. 

Magic Sight

Trylleblik

Magic Sight is a timeless and universal picture book about the unconquerable imagination of children and their amazing ability to play, dream and simply be children. Even under the most impossible conditions.

Through her evocative illustrations, Ane Bjørn gives form to everything that children (and adults) sometimes find challenging to express with words: dreams, fears, sorrow, anger and imagination. 

Synopsis

If you close one eye and cover it with two fingers, you will get magic sight: this is the frame in which Ane Bjørn places her tale of a refugee family and a little girl’s insistence to see the beauty of the world in the middle of its horrors. 

In a nameless country, in a city in ruins, a girl learns something very special from her grandmother: By covering one eye with two fingers, you can see things, you otherwise don’t have an eye for. Wonderful things, you didn’t think existed. Golden castles in dark forests. Mermaids in the deep. Beauty, light and hope. 

The perilous journey of the family towards a new place is told only through the visuals. The words on the other hand belong to the girl and loyally portray her subjective view of the world around her. A world that contrary to the harsh reality is full of colours and magic, light and hope. 

Part of Books from Denmark, Autumn 2021 (selected by the Danish Arts' Foundation).

Reviews

"The imagination diffuses the harsh reality in a moving tale about escape and loss and about undying hope… both aimed at those refuge children who have been through it all and those children who have only read or heard about refugees. Because of the gentle narrative form where the images bear the content, no one is at risk of getting hurt by the story." – (Weekendavisen)

"It is an incredible achievement that Ane Bjørn manages to create a transparent layer in the illustrations where we view both the girl and her grandmother’s magic movie from above. It really feels magical." – (Information)

"A life-affirming picture book where both text and drawings touch your heart. The illustrations are exceptionally beautiful when the colours mix with the black and white world which the family inhabit… Warmly recommended." – (Danish Library Centre (industry magazine for libraries).)

"Picture books are not only for children. They can be read by anyone if you manage to read the pictures with your own magic sight. Or indeed just a curious sight. Or perhaps only an open eye for the poetry in the illustrations… Ane Bjørn is an author who writes books that require you to read the text as well as the illustrations." – (The Public School (Folkeskolen), an industry magazine for teachers)

Personal note from the author

Which story did you want to tell with this book?

I think the most important thing in Magic Sight for me is to tell a tale that puts a face to the refugee story which will mirror your own.

A face you dare to continue looking at. I hope that’s how it is with the girl. That children who read the story can see themselves in her, in her imagination, in her hope, in her completely normal state of being a child – and that you can zoom out from that position and attempt to relate to the reality she is in, even if it is far removed from our own. 

In Magic Sight, the refugee story in itself is a frame where the horror is not painted in detail or spelled out in capital letters. It is just there as a condition, as a reality around the family, which could be anyone. That’s at least how I hope you will experience them. As someone who could just as well be you or I. 

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Magic Sight
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Original Language: Danish
Original Publisher: Gutkind
Published: June, 2021
32 pages
Category: Children's Books
Available material: English sample translation.

Territories Handled

World Rights (Babel Bridge)