Back in October I told you how I had been enduring one of the worst reading slumps in my entire reading history and how through reading a children’s book I got past it. However, like a proper silly sausage, I completely forgot to tell you which book it was. I was reminded of this when it won the Waterstones Book of the Year last week, for the book which saved me from my reading slump was none other than Coralie Bickford-Smith’s The Fox and the Star, which is probably the most beautiful book that you could encounter all year, inside and out. In fact it was the cover that made me take it from the shelves, aptly in Waterstones, and then buy it then and there.
The story of The Fox and the Star initially seems like a rather simple one; it tells of a fox who has always grown up alone with just his friend Star for company, however one day Fox wakes to find Star gone and so must venture into the forest alone to try and find out what has happened. A tale as old as time it would seem, one which also remains timeless too, yet one which actually is a tale of love, friendship, loss and independence. All good things for kids to learn and for adults to be reminded of. The story is made all the more wonderful by Coralie’s stunning illustrations…
And that is without me even sharing some of the best ones with you, you will have to go and get a copy for yourself, or use a small child as an excuse. Though I hasten to add mine is proudly on my shelves as it is a stunning object and one which (punches the air) the author has not allowed to be produced as an ebook, as it is all about the imagery and story close up in your hands physically.
It is hard to say much more about the book, as it stands at a mere 535 words, other than it is an absolutely stunning object. Coralie Bickford-Smith is responsible for many wonderful book covers at Penguin and the detailing and vibrancy of the pictures (be they in colour or mono) is absolutely astounding. It feels, as I mentioned before and as Waterstones said on its winning, as if this is a classic tales for adults and children straight away. I think it was the slight nostalgic feel of children’s books and stories gone by that made it the perfect cure for my reading issues, I was instantly lost in it. A delightful book indeed.
Do watch this video below of Coralie Bickford-Smith talking about the story behind the book. Be warned though, you will want to own every book she has ever made the cover for by the end of it.
Who else has read and immersed themselves in The Fox and the Star? Do you think it was the right winner of Waterstones Book of the Year 2015?