About the book

Adelaide leads a quiet life in the midst of the city. At night she listens to the song of the stars, but during the day she watches over the others like her—the still ones, the quiet ones, those who dance and dream alone.

Little does Adelaide know her secret world will soon be transformed into something unexpected and full of joy.

Book cover - Adelaide's secret world by Elise Hurst.
Published by: 
Allen & Unwin

About the author


Elise Hurst is an illustrator and author of children's books, as well as a traditional artist. She has illustrated more than 50 books over the years. The Night Garden (ABC Books), which she wrote and illustrated, was shortlisted for a Children's Book Council of Australia award in 2008. She lives in Melbourne with her husband, Peter, and their twin boys.

Portrait - Elise Hurst.

Judges’ comments

In Greek mythology the ‘red thread' helps a king escape from the labyrinth. In Chinese tradition the red thread joins people who will one day meet and help each other. In Adelaide's Secret World, by writer and artist Elise Hurst, a red thread ultimately brings together two lonely dreamers and revives a world once full of bustling wonders. Adelaide lives alone in a place that had once been a creative haven. To escape her loneliness, Adelaide ventures into the city where she encounters a creator just like herself. And when she comes into possession of their special book, Adelaide knows just what to do.

Artist Elise Hurst creates a richly imagined world with a palette of velvety reds, deep blues and her anthropomorphic characters include a hare, bears, a lion, foxes, cats and even the occasional human. Her sumptuous images render the line between fancy and realism permeable and enchant the reader more with each reading. Adelaide's Secret World contains enigmas that invite the reader to imagine other realities and a rich inner world.