Somewhere in the Arctic Circle, Sixteen-Face John, a shaman, learns that his first child, a soonchild, cannot hear the World Songs from her mother's womb. The World Songs are what inspire all newborns to come out into the world, and John must find them for her. But how? The answer takes him through many lifetimes and many shape-shifts, as well as encounters with beasts, demons and a mysterious benevolent owl spirit, Ukpika, who is linked to John's past...
Russell Hoban is the author of many acclaimed novels for grown-ups, including Turtle Diary and Riddley Walker. He once described himself as "an addict to writing" and wrote more than 50 books for children, including such classics as Bedtime for Frances, How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen and The Sea-Thing Child. Born in Pennsylvania in 1925, he moved to London in 1969, where he lived until his death in 2011.