Congratulations to Levi Pinfold for winning the English Association’s 7-11 years Picture Book Award for his haunting and thought-provoking fable, Greenling. Established in 1995, the awards are presented to the best children’s Fiction and Non-Fiction picture books of the year.
Levi is an award winning illustrator, who won the Booktrust Early Years Award for Best Emerging Illustrator with his first picture book, The Django, and his second, Black Dog, was awarded the CILIP Kate Greenaway medal, and the children’s book AOI illustration award.
Whilst working on Greenling, Levi has lived in Australia, which inspired the landscapes in this book. He uses traditional techniques and materials, such as egg tempera, creating beautiful compositions with glorious colours and an exquisite use of light.
When a mysterious and other worldly green baby appears on the remote Australian farm of Mr and Mrs Barleycorn, they take it in, nurture it, and become part of its natural world, at least for a season. The baby grows, and strange things begin to happen, letting loose the incredible power of nature; plants sprout out of the television, vines colonise the kitchen and even the transport has taken to seed. Levi’s stunning and surreal illustrations have an ominous edge to them and combine with the rhyme and pulse of the text to leave the reader hypnotised by this strange and beautiful book.
‘What is this growing on Barleycorn land, and is it intended for Barleycorn Hands?’ ‘…forget what you know about baby demands. This is a different breed. It’s clear he has needs only trees understand; a vegetable hunger to feed.’