From children’s treasuries to ornate gift editions of much-loved tales, Christmas is the time of the gorgeously illustrated hardback. Here are some original titles to mix with the old favourites.
The Fox and the Star – Waterstones’ Book of the Year no less – is a shining example of this genre. The debut work of books designer Coralie Bickford-Smith, this is a modern day fable about a fox that befriends a star in the sky, and how he copes when his friend disappears. The intricacy of the illustrations and the interplay of the spreads is exquisite. A treat for all ages.
Continuing the theme of unconventional friendships, The Imaginary is a fantastical story by A.F. Harrold about a young girl and her imaginary friend, Rudger. The real and imagined worlds they inhabit are fully realised and the storytelling is confident, madcap and affecting, but it’s the extraordinary illustrations by Emily Gravett that really pulled me in.
Following on from the success of stand-out non-fiction books such as Big Picture Press’ Maps, we have Martin Haake’s vibrant City Atlas. Children are invited to jump in and explore 30 cities through lavishly illustrated maps that pick out key landmarks, prominent citizens and lots of other fun details to search and find.
The Fox and the Star, by Coralie Bickford-Smith, published by Penguin, is available now.
The Imaginary, by A.F. Harrold, published by Bloomsbury, is available now.
City Atlas, by Martin Haake, published by Wide-Eyed Editions, is available now.