Nine-year-old Annie’s favourite place is the hedge at the bottom of the garden. There are faces in the hedge that talk to her and a fantail’s nest with fledglings. One summer’s day, whilst waiting for her father to return from his job as lighthouse keeper, Annie goes down to the hedge to talk to her friends and to watch the fledglings. However, disaster strikes, and a strong wind blows the nest away. Annie and her brother Robbie set out to rescue the nest and to try and find Mr and Mrs Hedge who have gone to look for it. They are helped in their search by the Tigrish, a mythical creature who protects the lighthouse.
Dappled Annie and the Tigrish is an unusual book. It is a fantasy story, set in a world of magical realism where the extraordinary is a part of the everyday. In this world, ‘otherness’ is foregrounded. The writing is very carefully crafted but never overt or obtrusive. The imagery is also very beautiful. It conjures up an idyllic and almost lost world. This world is represented by a pastoral landscape, but it is a landscape that is also dangerous, containing elements such as earthquakes and menacing trees. Occasionally, the language and imagery dominate the plot, but the beauty of the writing will engage children and adults alike.