'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Review: The Fox and the Star

Fox lives deep in a beautiful forest. The forest is so deep and the trees so tall, he is afraid to stray far from his home. His only view to the outside world is his nightly commune with Star.

There, above the treetops, she shines. Every night, comforting him. She is Fox's only friend.

But one night, everything changes. Star does not appear. At first, Fox hides away and awaits her return. Many nights pass and he finally knows he must go find her.

This is such a lyrical, fable-like tale of friendship and courage--of finding our way in the world and coming together once again. It's also about the greatness of the world, and if we dare to step outside the things and places we know--what true glory might be waiting for us.

Colarie has created 64 pages of artistic splendour in this book of beautifully-balanced full page illustrations--using white pages, a monochrome palette, negative space and exquisite patterning and papercut-style silhouettes to create a breathtaking visual journey. For its imagery alone, the book shines, but its story is also divinely-thought-out, and came clearly from the heart.

This is a special book. It's superbly crafted, with messaging that will touch readers of all ages. With superb endpapers and a cloth-bound cover, it would make a precious gift for newborns.

Coralie Bickford-Smith is an artist and book designer--the creator of those beautiful book covers you may have seen for the Penguin series of classic titles. You can see some of her covers here and her website here. The Fox and the Star is Coralie's first picture book and was inspired by the loss she has experienced in her own life. You can read an interview about her inspiration and processes here and see internal pages here. You can also read another interview with peeks at her draft sketches and storyboards from the book here.

Since winning Waterstones' (UK Bookseller) book of the year in 2015, the book has been so popular, you may have a little trouble finding a copy. But persist. It's worth it.

Title: The Fox and the Star
Author/Illustrator:  Coralie Bickford-Smith
Publisher: Particular Books, $35 RRP
Publication Date: 21 October 2015
Format: Hard cover, cloth-bound
ISBN: 9781846148507
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book