Congratulations to Pam Smy – Thornhill has been nominated for The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2018. This is the only British prize to solely reward children’s book illustration.
… perfectly paced and other worldly …
This is a perfectly paced ghost story about a girl living next to a derelict orphanage.
Pam Smy carefully weaves together the stories of two girls in a beguiling mix of diary and illustration. The ghost, Mary, writes heartbreaking entries of her bleak childhood in the diary which is discovered years later by the lonely Ella, whose story is told entirely through unscripted illustrations. With no narrator to help, we are left to piece together the gaps in each story.
Pam then intersperses the diary entries and cartoon narrative with heavy black pages to represent sleep. The cumulative effect of these blanks, combined with the silent illustrations, recreates the detachedness of a lonely childhood and gives the reader delightful pause to think about and guess (deliciously) what might happen next.
The whole effect is intriguing, creepy and otherworldly by turn and builds to…
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