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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Illustrated by Áslaug Jónsdóttir

Translated by Julian Meldon D'Arcy

Brimir and Hulda are best friends who live on a small island on a beautiful blue planet where there are only children and no adults. Their planet is wild and at times dangerous, but everything is free, everyone is their friend, and each day is more exciting than the last.

One day a rocket ship piloted by a strange-looking adult named Gleesome Goodday crashes on the beach. His business card claims he is a "Dream.ComeTrueMaker and joybringer," and he promises to make life a hundred times more fun with sun-activated flying powder and magic-coated skin so that no one ever has to bathe again. Goodday even nails the sun to the sky and creates a giant wolf to chase away the clouds so it can be playtime all the time. In exchange for these wonderful things, Goodday asks only for a little bit of the children's youth—but what is youth compared to a lot more fun? The children are so enamored with their new games that they forget all the simple activities they used to love.

During Goodday's great flying competition, Hulda and Brimir fly too high to the sun and soar to the other side of planet, where they discover it is dark all the time and the children are sickly and pale. Hulda and Brimir know that without their help, the pale children will die, but first they need to get back to their island and convince their friends that Gleesome Goodday is not all that he seems.

A fantastical adventure, beautifully told, unfolds in a deceptively simple tale. The Story of the Blue Planet will delight and challenge readers of all ages.

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“In the tradition of Roald Dahl and Maurice Sendak, Magnason’s story celebrates the ferity and fearlessness of childhood as an idealized state. . . . a Suessian mix of wonder, wit, and gravitas.”

“With The Story of the Blue Planet, Andri Snær Magnason gives our own aching planet a deep green fable in which ordinary children can wreck a world … or save it. A global ecosystem, or a child's inner ecology, Andri cares for the well-being of both, and demonstrates the ways in which the two are, in fact, indivisible.”

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One of Iceland’s most celebrated young writers, Andri Snær Magnason is the author poetry, plays, fiction, and non-fiction, and in 2009 he co-directed the documentary Dreamland, which was based on his own book Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation. In 2002 Magnason’s LoveStar was named "Novel of the Year" by Icelandic booksellers and received the DV Literary Award and a nomination for the Icelandic Literary Prize. It was also shortlisted for the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award. His 2012 The Story of the Blue Planet—now published or performed in twenty-six countries—became the first children's book to receive the Icelandic Literary Prize and received the Janusz Korczak Honorary Award and the West Nordic Children's Book Prize. Magnason is the winner of the 2010 Kairos Award. He lives in Reykjavík.