By Phil Dudek
A cartoonist and illustrator has reason to celebrate after winning a prestigious literary prize this week.
Brixton-based author Charlie Mackesy and his book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse were awarded the Waterstones Book of The Year 2019 on Friday, an honour which has previously been won by Sir Philip Pullman.
The book, which features beautiful illustrations and calligraphy, tells a powerful story of love and friendship in a world shared by four unlikely friends.
The award-winning author said: “‘I am wide-eyed, movedand so grateful. What a privilege to be acknowledged alongside such incredible books. Thank you so much to everyone, especially all the wonderful booksellers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting along the way. I’m so grateful for your support.”
Waterstones also named Greta Thunberg, whose book provides a contrasting hit of reality, as Author of the Year 2019.
Kate McHale, Campaign Manager for Waterstones said: “This year, we are delighted to name both a book that celebrates a wonderful artist, and an author whose words have had a unique impact on our world. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is a wise and beautiful tale calling for love, friendship and courage. Greta Thunberg’s speeches have been an inspiration to millions, and these are now brought together in a new edition of No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference that powerfully illustrates that remarkable story. Both choices are testament to the extraordinary power of books to move and shape us.”
The book, which is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller, wowed Waterstones as a beacon of kindness and light and a calming distraction in a busy world.
Nia, from Waterstones in Cardiff said: “This delicately illustrated tale shows that love towards yourself and others is the only thing that truly matters in our hectic world.”
Jacquie, of Waterstones St Albans said: “‘[The book is] one of the most beautiful and meaningful books I have ever read.”
History indicates that the award is an extremely beneficial one for authors, with last years winner, Normal People, by Sally Rooney, seeing sales through Waterstones increase by nearly 900% following the honours.
A cloth bound special edition of the book is available through the bookseller, featuring two new festive illustrations.
Also nominated for the award was Lewisham’s Candice Carty-Williams for her novel Queenie.