Thursday, 21 June 2012

A Monster Calls

I have just finished reading "A Monster Calls" By Patrick Ness based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd (who died before she could write her book). It is published by Walker books. The story is a moving one about a boy who's mother is suffering from cancer.

Jim Kay who illustrated the book has just been awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration for his beautiful and sensitive depiction of "A Monster Calls". Not only that but Patrick Ness was awarded his second consecutive Carnegie Medal by CILIP for the story as well.
Jim Kay's images are dark and beautifully composed with a huge variety of marks as the publicity describes him printing from old chopping boards "Old bread boards are wonderful - they have a whole history of cuts and marks. When you make a print with one you get an abstract piece of art"and living with marks; "I put thousands of abstract marks and splatters all round the flat. As I went about my daily life I started to see things in them - maybe an arm or a hedgerow. Things took on their own little life", to achieve the sort of visual effects he wanted.  You can find out more about Jim Kay's work here:

It is one of the few book objects I have seen for some years where the consideration of the subject matter, and the quality of the images, and design is such that it justifies being described as an illustrated book for both adults and children and I heartily recommend it!

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