Once there was cover

"A magical tale that comes full circle,
urging readers to dream big." 

Once There Was

Illustrated by Gemma Capdevila

Published by
Cameron Kids/Abrams
May 2, 2023
‎ ISBN 978-1951836658

Order This Book
Author Interview
Author Appearances

A simple, modern fable about dreaming of being something else, transformations, and the innerconnectedness  of all things.

In this magical, modern fairy tale, a girl dreams she is a princess. A princess dreams she is a horse. A horse dreams she is a tree, a tree a mountain, a mountain a moon, a moon a sea, a sea a girl.

Once There Was encourages readers to look within and realize that who they are and what they have is just right. With gorgeous, whimsical illustrations, this contemplative book plays on timely themes of aspiration and self-reflection, but the room for interpretation gives the potential for this book to become a timeless classic.


Spare, descriptive text is accompanied by rich, strikingly detailed watercolorlike illustrations. The simple story sends a message that it's important to dream and to reach for the stars and the moon—and that someone just might be wishing they were you. A magical tale that comes full circle, urging readers to dream big.

-- Kirkus Reviews
read full review

In this tale that highlights the world’s natural beauty, a girl with light skin and flowing brown locks embarks on a flight of fancy, dreaming a series of interconnected scenarios in Demas’s cumulative-style fairy tale. Capdevila’s wispy landscapes nail the book’s ethereal mood while capturing awe-inspiring wilderness details including whales, snow-capped mountains, and crisp evergreens. The graceful blend of text and image offers readers a mind-expanding escape. 

--Publishers Weekly
read full review

How to Order Once There Was:

      Amazon bookshop  Barnes & Noble



Gemma Capdevila is a fine artist and illustrator. Her magical work is inspired by the natural world, the ocean, and the forest. She lives and works in Barcelona.
"I first started drawing like everyone: the day I had a pencil in my hands. I simply have never stopped doing it."

girl and horse