I almost never fall in love with picture books. There have been many that I’ve enjoyed and appreciated and thought excellent but few that I’ve got really excited about.
One of the few is Posy, written by Linda Newbery and illustrated by Catherine Rayner. Linda has written many children’s books to great critical acclaim and I often get excited about her teenage novels. Some day, I’ll share that excitement with you! I don’t pretend to be very knowledgeable about art but I do know what I like (and why) and I am used to judging illustrations in children’s books. Catherine has only come to my attention recently but I would definitely go out of my way to see more of her work.
So what makes Posy so good? I think partly it’s because the eponymous heroine is a cat who looks like a real animal. She’s not stylised or anthropomorphised; she’s a cute, mischievous kitten who chases wool and upsets board games and scratches the sofa. Anyone who’s ever had a kitten will immediately recognise her!
Catherine’s illustrations somehow convey movement and character (Posy isn’t just cute) and Linda’s poem is rhythmic and concise. She doesn’t waste a word. Together they complement each other beautifully. The book is beautifully produced, too. It’s uncluttered and appealing from the front cover on.