Ahmed is a poor orphan boy who lives with a travelling circus, working for cruel Madame Saleem, the circus-owner. But his life is changed when he finds a beautiful egg in the forest, and brings it back to the circus. From the egg hatches a child, a little girl called Aurelia, a child who, as she grows, sprouts soft feathers that turn into wings. But Madame Saleem keeps Aurelia in a cage, to be her top attraction at the circus, and never lets her out. Ahmed knows he must free Aurelia the Feather Girl from her cruel cage or she will die. One night he creeps into Madame Saleem's caravan, takes the key to Aurelia's cage and lets her fly free. Now Ahmed's life becomes even harder, as the circus-owner takes revenge for losing her star attraction. But one night Aurelia comes to him in a dream and brings him a feather... and Ahmed begins to hope again. Dreams and memories are the key in this beautiful and fantastic tale of magic, enchantment and freedom from a master storyteller and illustrator of children's books.
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.