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This issue’s cover illustration by Steve Stone is from Darke by Angie Sage. Thanks to Bloomsbury for their help with this July cover.
By clicking here you can view, print or download the fully artworked Digital Edition of BfK 195 July 2012 .
Owen Davey’s pictorial text playfully references printmaking traditions with its random registrations of colour and line and excellent use of texture and earth colours. The narrative is cleverly propelled through a range of visual clues and signs, all exploiting our inbuilt tendency to stereotype, setting us up for the inevitable final surprise. Foxly is looking for his dinner. Everything tells us that each of the animals that he eyes up with interest page by page is likely to end up on his plate. The tension builds as his eager eye falls on a variety of creatures and he begins to prepare the picnic. But the final dinner scene is not quite as gruesome as we were expecting. The author shows a mature grasp of the picture book form as he cleverly teases the reader and builds the tension. This is a charming book that is beautifully designed and produced.