Kate DiCamillo and Sophie Blackall

in conversation with Ann Patchett

Thursday, October 14, 5:30 pm Central   

Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and two-time Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall offer up a fantastical meditation on fate, love, and the power of words to spell the world.

Join Rain Taxi as we conclude four weeks of exciting Twin Cities Book Festival events by celebrating The Beatryce Prophecy, an instant classic about a girl on a journey of self-discovery and the comrades she meets along the way—among them a hard-headed goat and a wild-eyed monk who carries the prophecy that “There will one day come a girl child who will unseat a king and bring about a great change.” With its timeless themes, unforgettable cast, and magical medieval setting, Kate DiCamillo’s lyrical new tale, paired with resonant black-and-white illustrations by the inimitable Sophie Blackall, is a true collaboration between masters. At this special event, Kate DiCamillo and Sophie Blackall will be in conversation with renowned author Ann Patchett!  

Free to attend, registration required. We hope to “see” you there!


A copy of the book, which includes a bookplate SIGNED by both Kate DiCamillo and Sophie Blackall, can be purchased in advance using the button below!  Books are provided by Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN; purchasing them here helps support them AND Rain Taxi’s Twin Cities Book Festival—thank you!

Pick up The Beatryce Prophecy

PRICE $21

BOOK PURCHASE with Local Pickup at Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul, MN (price includes sales tax)

Ship The Beatryce Prophecy

PRICE $24

BOOK PURCHASE plus $3 shipping to your location (U.S. only, price includes sales tax)

The pairing of two-time Newbery Medalist DiCamillo and two-time Caldecott Medalist Blackall is a magical alchemy. Blackall’s black-and-white pencil drawings and ornamented initials convey a medieval setting, while DiCamillo’s elegant, honed prose weaves a beautiful tapestry of true friends, a feisty goat, and a road to a castle where destiny will unfold. 

—The Horn Book (starred review)

Somehow, DiCamillo manages to fit a medieval epic into just over 250 pages—and that includes many glorious black-and-white illustrations by Blackall that one can easily envision stitched upon a tapestry. DiCamillo fills her narrative with humor and love, never getting in the way of her characters (or Answelica’s boney head) as they work through difficult choices and display many forms of bravery. It’s a gently feminist tale where stories carry the same power as magic and are, perhaps, one and the same. 

—Booklist (starred review)

The story is told in language as clear and beautiful as an illuminated manuscript, with characters who spring instantly to life. The fairy-tale conventions give it a sense of timelessness and omnipresence without once becoming twee or unwieldy. Blackall’s luminous black-and-white illustrations and medieval-style spot art add to this feeling and are wonderful at conveying emotion through posture, pose, and delicate linework. . . . A book with an angelic soul: large, sharp, and uncompromising. 

—Kirkus (starred review)

About the Presenters:

Kate DiCamillo is one of America’s most revered storytellers. She is a former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and a two-time Newbery Medalist. She now has almost 30 million books in print worldwide—likely because her books’ themes of hope and belief amid impossible circumstances, as well as their messages of shared humanity and connectedness, have resonated with readers of all ages around the world. Born in Philadelphia, she grew up in Florida and now lives in Minneapolis.


Sophie Blackall is the acclaimed illustrator of more than forty-five books for young readers and a two-time Caldecott Medalist. She has collaborated with authors such as Jacqueline Woodson, Jane Yolen, and Meg Rosoff, as well has having done illustrations for many newspapers and magazines, and her Missed Connections project, a series of paintings based on real, anonymous messages posted online by lovelorn strangers, was published in 2011 as a book called Missed Connections, Love, Lost and Found. Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, she now lives in Brooklyn, NY. 


Ann Patchett is the author of seven novels, including The Patron Saint of Liars, Bel Canto, and Commonwealth. She has also written three books of nonfiction, with a fourth, These Precious Days, due out this November. In 2019, she published her first children’s book, Lambslide, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Patchett has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including England’s Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the Women’s National Book Association’s Award. Her books have frequently been New York Times bestsellers, and her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. In 2011, she opened Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, with her business partner Karen Hayes, and is an outspoken advocate for independent booksellers. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Karl VanDevender, and their dog, Sparky.