"Once, in the time of your grandmother's grandmother, there was a kingdom. In the middle of the kingdom was a large lagoon dotted with islands, and here a city had been built; a city of sky-blue water and golden bridges. It was a small city, but it was a beautiful ... and the king and queen were very proud of it. They were also proud of their daughter Lucia ..."
And so the scene is set. Lucia needs a husband. The parents write a letter to the wise man and he replies they must find a young man "who can show you the most wonderful thing in the world."
Lucia is brought roses, a snow-white horse, performing dogs, magical beasts, a piece of frozen sky and many more strange and amazing gifts but none of these things see quite wonderful enough. You may have guessed the ending - although I hope not. Find this book and I hope you gasp with delight as I did at the outcome. (Spoiler alert don't click the Kirkus review below until you have read this book)
Here we have the perfect author and illustrator team who have produced a sumptuous, romantic picture book with a completely satisfying story.
Here is the author web site and you might also like to dip into my review of the series Tales of the Five Kingdoms also by Vivian French. We also have several books illustrated by Angela Barrett in our library including one of my favourites The Hidden House by Martin Waddell.
Following this book I suggest reading The Greatest Treasure of Charlemagne the King, The Quilt Makers Gift and The Dragon and the Minstrel pup.