The first book I read in 2017 happened to be a picture book, so here I am, telling you all about how gorgeous Coralie Bickford-Smith's The Fox and The Star is.
You might not recognize her name, but you've definitely seen Bickford-Smith's work: she designed a whole line of gorgeous Penguin books that I'd buy if I had the money (and, to be honest, the book shelves).
In her first picture book, CBS explores the relationship between, well, a fox and his star. Fox is used to looking up at the night sky and seeing his friend Star floating around, so when, one day, Star is not there, Fox feels lost and ventures out into the dark on his own.
It's a simple story, and doesn't end on the same high that it starts on - in fact, the ending feels a little abrupt - , but spend some time with this book for the design alone. It's cloth-bound, with heavy stock paper and illustrations that burst out of their boundaries. So while Fox's story isn't complicated, it's a lovely thing to pour over - either as an adult or as a child.
I only wish there had been a stronger ending - Fox's journey through the forest is fun to follow as he meets other small creatures (rabbits and beetles), before stumbling upon a whole sky full of Stars to befriend, but there's no emotional punch. I'm looking forward to Coralie Bickford-Smith's next foray into picture books, though, because I'm sure they'll be just as stunning.