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Extract

It was the kind of March day that feels springish, despite the weather not yet having warmed up: yellow crocuses bloomed on the verges, the leafless hedges were sprinkled with buds like tiny green fairy lights about to be switched on, and the sky was very blue. That kind of day only comes at the very tail end of winter, and it makes everything feel fizzy and exciting. It was just the sort of day for something unusual to occur.

About the book

The children's debut from Costa Award-shortlisted nature writer, Melissa Harrison

Three tiny, ancient beings – Moss, Burnet and Cumulus, once revered as Guardians and caretakers of the Wild World – wake from winter hibernation in their beloved ash tree home. But when it is destroyed, they set off on an adventure to find more of their kind, a journey which takes them first into the deep countryside and then the heart of a city. Helped along the way by birds and animals, the trio search for a way to survive and thrive in a precious yet disappearing world ...

A tale of the rich, wild world and all its wonder, By Ash, Oak and Thorn couldn’t be more relevant to the environmental concerns of today, brought to life by three tiny, funny, eternal beings – the Hidden Folk.

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Author notes

'Stories were a crucial way in which I connected with nature as a little girl, imaginatively and emotionally. I'd love to see a new wave of children's nature writing follow these books and help today's kids do the same. I wanted to write something that was accessible and inclusive, funny and magical – that didn’t prioritise the countryside over the city, and that allowed children to understand that other creatures are as real as they are – that humans are not the only actors on the stage.'

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