Thimble by Rebecca Young and Tull Suwannakit
This book is beautiful in every way. From the gorgeous front cover to the heart melting moments shared, to the memories captured in the sublime illustrations. Thimble is a touching story of love and loss, and the healing power of memory. It represents a symbol of protection and tenderness that every reader will grasp and beautifully soothes the heartache of losing a loved one. Thimble is a special treasure.
All the Ways to be Smart by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys
These creators are such an amazing duo with several books successfully achieved together. I loved the verve, humour, versatility and diversity explored in All the Ways to be Smart that so brilliantly reassures readers that they can just about do anything, and be anybody, with the skills, talents and personable qualities that they possess. The rhythmic language rolls off the tongue to perfection,whilst the neon colours draw the eye exactly the way an artist should. Excellence!
At the End of Holyrood Lane by Dimity Powell and Nicky Johnston
This is a masterful creation that so finely balances a highly delicate topic with exquisitely gentle language and visually arresting illustrations. The uplifting message of hope and courage is brilliantly pushed to the surface in amongst the darkness of domestic violence; depicted by a metaphorical thunderstorm of torment. This issue-based book raises such important awareness and gives power to many suffering children, and adults, which is why it is one of my favourites this year.
Maya and Cat by Caroline Magerl
Just heavenly! The poetic language and mesmerisingly enchanting illustrations make this tale absolutely gripping, evocative and heartwarming. Magerl so expertly matches her charismatic moodiness and intensity in her paintings with her intriguing plot of finding the rightful owners of a lost cat. Pouring with love and affection, Maya and Cat is undoubtably one of the most loveable books this year.