September 14, 2017


As if I needed yet ANOTHER reason to adore illustrator Katie Harnett, we now have Franklin's Flying Bookshop, written by Jen Campbell. And the illustrations don't disappoint!

Franklin the dragon loves stories and reading, but it's tough when you're a dragon and everyone is afraid of you. No matter who he approaches, they all run away screaming. All, that is, but one. Luna, a little girl Franklin bumps into in the woods, shows Franklin an unprecedented kindness as they instantly become friends and talk about their favorite books (turns out they have a lot of overlap!). Together, they decide to make Franklin's ultimate dream come true: a flying bookshop on his back where people can relax and listen to him read his favorite stories. 

The watercolor, gouache, acrylic, and colored pencil illustrations represent a new, darker palette for Harnett. Used to exploring colors like bright yellows and blues, we can see that Harnett has stretched her own wings (get it?) as she explores darker colors in these illustrations. Although the theme of the book is on par with her others (a lonely character searching for friendship), she has also branched out in the sense that normally her characters fit on a page: a raincloud and a cat are pretty small. Harnett gets the chance to play with space in this book, depicting Franklin as so big he often doesn't fit inside his own book. Unfortunately, these images don't do the cover justice, but if you can get your hands on a copy you'll see the beautiful foil that was incorporated into the cover, raising up the words and some of the more colorful embellishments.

Franklin's Flying Bookshop publishes from Thames & Hudson on October 17! Fly to your local bookstore to have a look!

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