Friday 2 August 2013

The Storm Whale by Mr Benji Davies.

The Storm Whale 
Created by Benji Davies 
and published by Simon and Schuster

I had heard whisperings of this wonderful picture book on Twitter and Facebook, like some mythical creature from the deep sea, we were teased and tormented by sneak peeks at what looked to be the very beginnings of a mesmeric picture book by fabulous beard sporting illustrator Benji Davies.

A teaser

The very moment The Storm Whale washed up at Book Sniffer Towers I was smitten, this book was immediately recognisable as being unique and stood out from the crowd, part of a new wave of creative design lead innovative picture books from Simon & Schuster - three cheers to that.  

So let me tell you more about this incredible addition to the Sniffer bookshelf...

Noi is a small (balaclava wearing) boy, a lonely child who lives with his burly fisherman father on a small island with several cats for company. Benji's characterisation is so well considered that the characters in his books become faultlessly believable. 

After a morning well spent collecting treasures on his very own desolate beach Noi discovers a beached whale.

Noi decides the best place for his new friend is at home with him so an adventure begins as he smuggles the baby whale into the little wooden house which he shares with his father and embarks on a  mission to look after him the very best way he can.

Utterly heart wrenching scenes unfold as the small boy plays sea shanty's to the bath-bound whale and sneaks food from his own plate to feed his new friend.

It really is wonderful to see a father / son relationship depicted in such a touching way...

The time comes when Noi's father discovers the whale and in a delightfully reassuring way they decide to set the whale free together. A cockle warming moment of sadness contentment and hope.

Aside from the beautiful story this picture book is impressively designed, the muted colour pallet is so atmospheric you'll be convince that you can smell the sea and feel the pebbles beneath your toes. With delicate flashes of rich yellow on many spreads signifying safety and security this is far from a bleak tale.

Transported back to a time of innocence and simplicity this delicate story about friendship and has echos of The Snowman in it's magnificent timeless nature. 

A future classic and a must have for the dicerning picture book fan.

Bravo Benji Davies and congratulations - lets hope we see more and more of his wonderful creations in the very near future.

5 starfish out of 5!

Message in a bottle Interview with Benji COMING SOON

In the mean time you can purchase one of theses delightful LIMITED EDITION knitted whale and hardback book sets here - An absolute must have. 

Follow Benji on Twitter @Benji_Davies ...

and check out his illustrator page on Facebook so for tantalising sneak peeks.

A proud day!
Washed up whale  -Image taken from Benji Davies Illustrator on Facebook 

1 comment:

  1. A beautifully written review, 'Sniffer, loved every carefully considered word. Haven't got my mitts on a copy yet, but can't wait!


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