Thought The Girl on the Train was a dead cert for this year's Book of the Year award? Think again. Waterstones' favourite is an illustrated fable that's a visual treat for all ages.
The Fox and the Star, by Coralie Bickford-Smith, tells the tale of a Fox who loses his only friend Star who has always lit his path in the dark, dense forest. Fox embarks on a journey to find Star in a moving and imaginative tale about loss and grief.
It sounds a little like the plot for a John Lewis advert and the title could be the name of your local pub, but Coralie's debut work is a truly worthy winner of the coveted title.
Beating off stiff competition from bestselling titles such as Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman and Paula Hawkins' hit train-set thriller, the work spells something of a backlash against e-reader domination - colourful, substantial and something to keep forever. Waterstones' Managing Director James Daunt describes The Fox and the Star as a book of “great physical beauty and timeless quality.”
In her thoughtful approach to a universal theme, Coralie also challenges the idea of neatly-defined categories separating “children” and “adults”.
An award-winning designer of Penguin's cloth-bound books, Coralie took a six-month sabbatical to work on her debut. She cites William Blake's poem Eternity as her inspiration for the story, while her “design hero” William Morris' iconic botanical motifs inspired the backdrop to her moving prose.
“I am incredibly touched and honoured that The Fox and the Star has been voted Waterstones Book of the Year 2015,” says Coralie. “I am especially thrilled that the Waterstones booksellers have chosen a book that hopefully speaks to children and adults alike. The Fox and the Star was the result of a very personal journey so for it to be recognised in this way means a lot to me.”
The 2015 Waterstones Book of the Year shortlist