Never Let Go
This picture book will bring a shiver to your spine. McCaughrean weaves a magical spell around the reader as well as the fated hero, Tamlin, who is stolen away to the land of the fairies on the eve of his wedding. No sweet and fanciful land, but one where the ground runs red with blood. His bride, Janet, determines to rescue Tamlin from the enchantment of the Fairy Queen. Despite her Father's anguished cries, Janet sets off on Hallowe'en night, and is terrorised as skeletons dance in the wind, owls babble, sing and weep, and dark shapes speed across the moon. Throughout the long night she endures searing pain, her grasp tight on Tamlin as she is tossed and battered whilst he is turned into all the horrors of Hallowe'en. Janet constantly claims, 'I will never let go.' And as All Hallows dawns and the Fairy Queen relinquishes her hold on Tamlin, so the story ends with a happy marriage. Older readers will love the tension built up as the night progresses, and Cockcroft's dramatic illustrations are arrestingly beautiful.