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Anansi International

The Lost Spells

Illustrated by Jackie Morris • Written by Robert Macfarlane

Published October 27, 2020 | ISBN 9781487007799
POETRY / Subjects & Themes / Nature

Cover of The Lost Spells

Regular price $31.00 CAD

240 pages | 6.9 in × 4.76 in
Print Format

About this book

The Lost Spells

Jackie Morris • Robert Macfarlane

The follow-up to the internationally bestselling sensation The Lost Words, The Lost Spells is a beautiful collection of poems and illustrations that evokes the magic of the everyday natural world.

Since its publication in 2017, The Lost Words has enchanted readers with its poetry and illustrations of the natural world. Now, The Lost Spells, a book kindred in spirit and tone, continues to re-wild the lives of children and adults.

The Lost Spells evokes the wonder of everyday nature, conjuring up red foxes, birch trees, jackdaws, and more in poems and illustrations that flow between the pages and into readers’ minds. Robert Macfarlane’s spell-poems and Jackie Morris’s watercolour illustrations are musical and magical: these are summoning spells, words of recollection, charms of protection. To read The Lost Spells is to see anew the natural world within our grasp and to be reminded of what happens when we allow it to slip away.

About the Creators

Jackie Morris

JACKIE MORRIS grew up in the Vale of Evesham and studied at Hereford College of Arts and at Bath Academy. She won the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, the highest honour in children’s book illustration, forThe Lost Words. She has illustrated for the New Statesman, the Independent, and the Guardian, collaborated with Ted Hughes, and has written and illustrated over forty books, including beloved classics such as The Snow Leopard, The Ice Bear, Song of the Golden Hare, Tell Me a Dragon, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and The Wild Swans. Jackie Morris lives in a cottage on the cliffs of Pembrokeshire.

Robert Macfarlane

ROBERT MACFARLANE is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and the author of a number of bestselling and prize-winning books, including The Wild Places, The Old Ways, Holloway, Landmarks, and Underland, which won the Wainwright Prize. His work has been translated into many languages and widely adapted for film, television, and radio. The American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him the E. M. Forster Award for Literature in 2017. He is a word collector and mountain climber — and he has three children who have taught him more about the world than any book.

Awards and Praise


“Elegant … There is enough magic here to summon wild things even for those who are snug indoors.” — Wall Street Journal

“This unusually beautiful book brings to readers the magic and wonder of nature … Breathtakingly magical.” — Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEWS

“Macfarlane’s lyrics … ring with consonance (“Thrift thrives where most life fails, falls,/ is cast adrift”) and wordplay (“Woodpecker, tree-wrecker”) … Morris’s fluid artwork renders the elegant tilt of a fox’s snout, birds’ calligraphic flight patterns, and the eyelike whorls of silver birch bark … One to treasure.” — Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Macfarlane and Morris bring us the mystery and wisdom of wild things as complementary and consolatory to our tame incompleteness … These painted verses sing and shimmer with a magical exuberance that renders the wild world not parallel, not foreign, but proximate, beckoning, native to our own souls … A charm against the curse of civilization, of exploitation, of apathy.” — Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

“Through deeply humane poems paired with warm illustrations, MacFarlane and Morris invited readers into the space where the enchanting natural world meets the expansive imagination … Crafted with the same tenderness as its sibling.” — Shelf Awareness

The Lost Spells employs Robert Macfarlane’s rapturous language and Jackie Morris’s bewitching illustrations to return language and art to their ancient occupations: building bridges of understanding between human and non-human worlds. More than a mere book, it’s a brave act of shamanism that touches and transforms the reader’s heart, healing and encouraging at a time when the world feels most desperately in need of restoration.” — Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity


Winner, CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal

Finalist, Wainwright Prize

“A gorgeous book!” — @MargaretAtwood

“Every page is enthralling.” — New York Times

“Art, verse, and nature are combined with entertaining elegance in The Lost Words … This large, quality hardcover allows words and watercolour to shine and results in a work that can be left open at any page to stunning effect.” — Shelf Awareness, STARRED REVIEW

“A gorgeous coffee-table book … with stunning artwork made with watercolour and gold leaf, and poems on words ranging from ‘acorn’ to ‘wren.’” — PEI Guardian

“Stylish and melancholy, The Lost Words is a book to savour.” — Wall Street Journal

“My top book of the year.” — Spectator

“Sumptuous … a book combining meticulous wordcraft with exquisite illustrations deftly restores language describing the natural world to the children’s lexicon … The Lost Words is a beautiful book and an important one.” — Observer

“One of the most striking and poignant picture books of the season … This giant tome contains not only beautiful illustrations but a haunting series of poems that read like a summoning back of the wild … A book in which every page seems like an act of love.” — Herald

“A breathtaking book.” — New Statesman

“A sumptuous, nostalgic ode to a disappearing landscape.” — Kirkus Reviews

“This union of natural history, poetry, art, and whimsy is, indeed, a truly enchanting all-ages book of life to contemplate, read aloud, and share.” — Booklist

“Utterly enchanting, it’s a celebration of nature — but also language itself. If I ran the world, it’d be in every school library and classroom possible.” — Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

“One of the most stunningly beautiful books I have had the pleasure of reading (and rereading) this year.” — Fab Book Reviews

“Gorgeous to look at and to read. Give it to a child to bring back the magic of language — and its scope.” — Jeanette Winterson

“The most beautiful and thought-provoking book I’ve read this year.” — Frank Cottrell-Boyce

“Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris have made a thing of astonishing beauty.” — Alex Preston

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