Alex Smith is an experienced and versatile illustrator living in the Algarve, who brings her beautiful illustrations to life in her first children’s book “The Magic Mountain”.

Alex “Dubbo” Smith was born and grew up in Malta and originally came to the Algarve in a campervan for three years running prior to buying her home here four years ago. Alex fell in love with the Algarve and lives near the Salgados nature reserve. She told me that Malta and the Algarve have “many similarities, the relaxed lifestyle, the friendly people, the climate and vegetation all remind me of my childhood and perhaps that is another reason why I feel so at home here.”


Alex became an illustrator in her twenties and then taught art at American Universities around Europe whilst doing fun illustrations on the side for copious children’s books including Five Minute Fairy Tales (BNBS), Zoo Story, The Reluctant Hero, 103 Monkeys and Sweet Dreams Lullabies as well as caricatures and greeting cards.

“The Magic Mountain” is a fairy tale about her three grandchildren and is set in a little magical village in Switzerland where Alex used to live and work. “The region in Switzerland that inspired the story is steeped in folklore and I borrowed the legend of Lake Chavonnes and incorporating it into my story.” “The gardening theme and The Thin Man I based on a sprightly but elderly neighbour whom the family have adopted as a grandfather. Human rights, equality of the sexes, anti-racism, kindness and altruism are some of the values I think are important for children to aspire to, and these developed naturally as I wrote.”

The Magic Mountain story starts “high in the mountains of Switzerland where the village is preparing to celebrate their traditional festival of La Nuit des Fées. Legend tells us that on this night ordinary humans can access the magical world of the fairy folk. However, such stories have been left untold for a long time and have almost been completely forgotten, until two adventurous and nature-loving boys befriend The Thin Man, an interesting neighbour who is fond of gardening. The Thin Man gives them the key to unlock the secrets of the mountain and they enter the magic world of Arcadia…”

“The Magic Mountain” is available on Amazon and alternatively you can order a copy from Matador Publishing by emailing or by calling +44 116 279 2299. If you are an author and would like to get in touch with Alex Smith, please email .


Following undertaking her university degree in English with American Literature in the UK, Cristina da Costa Brookes moved back to Portugal to pursue a career in Journalism, where she has worked at The Portugal News for 3 years. Cristina’s passion lies with Arts & Culture as well as sharing all important community-related news.

Cristina da Costa Brookes