• UK Edition

The Boy, the Bird and the Coffinmaker

Friendship and magic realism sparkle on the page in this charming middle grade story about a lonely widower and a frightened boy.

Everybody on the wonderful Italian island knows Alberto. The old man has made coffins for the great, the good, the poor and the rich for as long as they can remember. They know too that, ever since his wife died and his children left, he’s withdrawn further and further into himself.  Indeed, he’s become positively grumpy.

Unknown to the nosy townsfolk, Alberto’s heart is broken with loneliness and despair.  So when a peculiar bird flutters into his garden, he starts to try to tame it. And when, one day, a boy follows the bird into Alberto’s basement, a door in the old man’s heart chinks open.  The boy is lonely too – but he’s also scared. On the run from his brutal stepfather, he just wants to feel safe, for once in his life.

Brought together by a magical bird, the boy and the old man slowly learn to trust one another. Through that trust, can they learn the power of friendship and love once again?

A novel to curl up with, the sort that makes the world seem a warmer, better place.

Rights details

World rights: Scholastic UK

The Author

Matilda Woods

Australian author, Matilda Woods, lives in the Southern Tablelands with her three dogs. Her debut novel THE BOY, THE BIRD AND THE COFFIN MAKER has enchanted everybody who has read it.  It’s the charming, eccentric, heart-warming tale of a friendship between a lonely old coffin maker whose family is gone and a little boy in need of safe harbour.  Interest in the book was so strong that foreign rights had been sold in 10 territories – Australia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Thailand, the Netherlands and the USA – before it was first published in the UK. Her second novel – which is equally beguiling and heartwarming – THE GIRL THE CAT AND THE NAVIGATOR was published in November 2018.

Matilda is a qualified social worker working with children in out-of-home care.

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