Kings of the Castle

DSCN7237 (800x600)Kings of the Castle
Victoria Turnbull
Templar Publishing
Victoria Turnbull set the bar astoundingly high with her debut picture book The Sea Tiger; but oh my goodness, she’s more than cleared it with this, her second book, which if possible, is even more enchantingly beautiful.
Once again, the sea features large in many of the scenes but this time, it’s seen from the shore. A night-time shore on which we meet George, a little monster with a whole lot of determination, when it comes to sandcastle building that is: he wants to build a sandcastle ‘that would turn any monster green eyed with envy …’ Boris, his friend is doggedly unhelpful …

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so much so that George is on the verge of abandoning his castle building when from the moonlit waves emerges this strange-looking creature …

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Introductions are something of a failure but thanks to Boris and a stick, the two begin to forge a friendship;

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and slowly and surely an amazing edifice is fashioned under the twinkling stars …

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It’s one- a veritable kingdom really – over which the friends reign supreme till dawn when the tide comes in, and as the sun rises, slowly subsides into the sea.
What now will be the fate of the friendship?
Brilliantly imagined and equally brilliantly executed, this night to day tale is truly heart-warming.

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The whole thing unfolds in a slow, gentle manner that is entirely in harmony with the gently rolling waves forming the backdrop; and one cannot help wishing that like the George/Nepo friendship, it could last forever. Victoria Turnbull’s paintings are rendered in a gorgeous colour palette that so perfectly captures the blues and greens of the moonlit sea, and gradually gives way to the glowing golden hues of the dawning day. Equally perfect is the way in which every turn of the page brings fresh delight, from expansive spreads to small comic strip style squares …

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and everything in between.  Awesome. Ahhhh!

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