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The Lost Spells

UK Publisher: Hamish Hamilton / Penguin
US Publisher: House of Anansi

Dazzlingly beautiful and wonderfully inventive, discover the magical new book from the creators of bestselling, critically acclaimed literary phenomenon, The Lost Words

Kindred in spirit to The Lost Words but fresh in its form, The Lost Spells is a pocket-sized treasure that introduces a beautiful new set of natural spell-poems and artwork by beloved creative duo Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris.

As in The Lost Words, these “spells” take their subjects from relatively commonplace, and yet underappreciated, animals, birds, trees and flowers — from Barn Owl to Red Fox, Grey Seal to Silver Birch, Jay to Jackdaw. But they break out of the triptych format of The Lost Words, finding new shapes, new spaces and new voices with which to conjure.

Written to be read aloud, painted in brushstrokes that call to the forest, field, riverbank and also to the heart, The Lost Spells summons back what is often lost from sight and care, and inspires protection and action on behalf of the natural world. Above all, it celebrates a sense of wonder, bearing witness to nature’s power to amaze, console and bring joy.


‘Macfarlane’s impish wordplay and Morris’s sensuous paintings prove to be a class apart – a match made in heaven…With their chanting rhythms and tonguetwistery, the 21 new nature poems (or ‘spells’) demand to be read aloud and shared, entrancing young children as surely as grown-ups. Some fill a spread, while others dance and sing over eight pages, all bookended by beguiling, gilded scenes… shape-shifting foxes, fluttering moths, slippery seals, life-giving silver birches’. BBC Wildlife Magazine

‘A book about spells that succeeds in being spell-binding in its own right….He also takes on trees, wild flowers, moths and insects, each poem sharing space with Jackie Morris’s luminously colourful paintings….it already feels like a true classic. Buy one copy for yourself and any others for as many children as you can afford. Neither party should regret it.’ Books for Keeps

‘The poems are beautiful, insightful and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny; and together with the vivid artwork, wild creatures are brought to life. A beautiful volume sure to be treasured by nature lovers of all ages.’ i Paper

‘A sumptuous collection of wonderful, evocative rhythmic incantations, with stunning, almost ethereal artwork….A delightful book to curl up with, to incite discussion and to lose yourself in the natural world, to introduce species and spark memories.’ The Mammal Society

Robert Macfarlane is a best-selling, multi-award-winning author who is internationally renowned for his writing on nature, people and place. His...
Jackie Morris is a prize winning, internationally best-selling illustrator, artist and author of over forty children’s books. In 2016 she...