I defy you not to be touched by this book
– Elisa Offord, Marketing & Publicity Director, Simon & Schuster
Summer 2015 is set to be a popular season for Bright picture books launching into the public eye and gracing the shelves of book lovers the world over. One of these future classics comes from the pen of award-winning author illustrator Benji Davies and is set to supersede Benji’s critically acclaimed debut title The Storm Whale (Simon & Schuster) having already been shortlisted in the AOI World Illustration Awards 2015. This July, we proudly add the stunningly illustrated & powerfully written Grandad’s Island (Simon & Schuster) to our growing Bright Bookshelf.
The book was given a tropical introduction to the publishing world at Benji’s exclusive Grandad’s Island book launch located at BYGGA BO cafe in Walthamstow. As the agent behind the book deal, Bright MD Vicki Willden-Lebrecht was amongst the star studded guest list, including such publishing royalty as Philip Ardagh, Jim Field, Ben Mantle, Mark Chambers, Jorge Martin, Sarah McIntyre & Chris Haughton.
Photography by JadeLou
News has spread rapidly about the Grandad’s Island window display at Waterstones Hampstead and Benji is set to design and uncover even more across the country.
Within the whirlwind of media buzz, Grandad’s Island has been picked three times in three issues of The Bookseller, including Picture Book Editor’s Choice, Children’s Preview 17.4.15 and strikingly featured in The Guardian and Sunday Times. The blog tour started on 6th July with a shining review & behind the scenes photos by The Book Sniffer and continued to cause an online stir with exclusive insight into the enchanting story as the week went on (Picturebook Makers, Magpie That, Picture Books Blogger, Library Mice).
As well as printed support, Grandad’s Island was recently featured on Ireland A.M (5.30 mins in) in Sarah Webb’s top choices for Little Readers and described as ‘lush‘ and ‘extraordinary‘. It was also noted that ‘with the amount of Grand-Parents providing primary care for children…this book is very relevant’. Bright star Yasmeen Ismail was also discussed on the programme (4 mins in) for her timeless and award winning, Time for Bed Fred! (Bloomsbury).
With an array of promotional ventures still to come, Benji is appearing at the Edinburgh Book Festival and the Bath Children’s Literary Festival (where he has contributed to this years Big Red Chair auction taking place later this year).
In our previous blog post on the AOI : World Illustration Awards 2015, we stand by our internal review of this incredibly powerful and beautiful book:
Benji’s illustrations are deliciously tropical in palette & cleverly characterised throughout the heart-warming adventure, to leave any reader captivated & every grand child enchanted by Grandad’s Island.