Karl Newson, picture book author of Fum & Here Comes The Sun and illustrator, selects his Best Book of 2017…
My best book of 2017 is Benji Davies‘ The Grotlyn.
I LOVE this book!
Its superb design makes it stand out from the usual picture book crowd in the bookshop and it draws one in for closer inspection; it drew me in. Upon which, I was not disappointed. The story grabbed me before it had even begun. I’d never read anything like that opening line, the way it bounces along, being hauntingly, beautifully, perfect in every word. Benji’s illustrations are always going to be a hit with me (I’m a big fan!), but here I think he even outdoes himself. The scenes, the world he creates for this story and, the characters who inhabit it, are stupendously brilliant. The ending, the twist, well… to end on the beginning of a brand new adventure is pure genius, and one’s imagination is stoked with an endless flight of potential places to take it.
The Grotlyn deserves awards aplenty and I’ve no doubt it will influence the future of picture books for many years to come.