In preparation for this post, I sat in my empty shop, settled myself into the Reading Chair, and read ‘The Building Boy’ aloud. Fortunately, passers-by couldn’t clearly see this mad woman at work, due to the book’s illustrator’s beautiful window display, obscuring their view:
Had they peered through the branches and leaves, they may have wondered at the CrazyBookLady™, talking to herself, with tears pouring down her face. Yes, despite having read the book several times over the past month, it still manages to swell my heart, sending emotions pouring through my tear ducts and onto the copy of the book I have now bought, due to its water-damaged pages.
It is, on the surface, a beautiful story about a boy and his grandma, and the love that drives him on to finish her work. However, even the most hardened reader cannot help but see through the lines on the page, to a deeply moving commentary on the people who influence us; the impact they have on the choices we make in life; the lingering touch of their spirit in the things we create long after they are gone; and the moment of realisation as we see our true calling before us.
Of course, it’s also very cool to have a giant robot grandma take you on an adventure around the world.
I love this book.
I have bought lots:
Our discerning customers are already flocking to the shop to get hold of their copy before the rest of the country (it is released on Thursday):
This is writer Ross Montgomery‘s first picture book, but not his first collaboration with David. Clearly, this is a power couple that works: David’s ethereal imagery is the perfect partner to Ross’s hauntingly beautiful narrative on the power of love and legacy. We predict a partnership akin to Dahl and Blake, Gaiman and Riddell. Who knows they will do next..?* What we do know is that it will be very, very special.
Published by Faber & Faber, September 2016
*Well, apart from rocking up to BookTastic, Bedford’s Children’s Book Festival, in October, obvs.