A Jar Full of Angel Feathers is written for fluent readers of 9 years of age upwards,
and tells the story of seven-year-old Alex. Alex is angry and miserable. He has lost
his mum, his Dad has packed him off to live in Cornwall with Great Aunt Mary for
a year, and his most treasured possession has vanished. He hates the countryside
after the noise and bustle of London, and there’s the Gnarly Man in Tappers Wood
to worry about. Can the down-to-earth love of Aunt Mary, the friendship of a mysterious
young girl, and a little bit of magic help Alex to turn his life around?
An ancient tree, the Gnarly Man, features in the story. I love trees! Whether they’re
dressed in their summer finery, or completely bare in winter and silhouetted against
a pastel hued sky, I can’t get enough of them. Did you know that they are the lungs
of the world? Our lungs take in air, absorb the oxygen into the bloodstream, and
release waste gas carbon dioxide back out again. Trees act in much the same way,
by absorbing waste gasses through tiny ‘windows’ called stomata in their green leaves,
and releasing oxygen back into the air. If you look at a bare tree in winter, it
looks very much like the branching pathways in our lungs. How amazing is that!
As the biggest plants on the planet, trees give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilise
the soil and give life to the world's wildlife. They also provide us with the materials
for tools and shelter.