Review: Kings of the Castle by Victoria Turnbull

Fantastically atmospheric book about friendship through imagination.

Publication date: 5th May 2016
Publisher: Templar Publishing

Kings of the Castle  is an absolutely stunning book. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it, and the story reflects the marine setting as it flows and then is reined in. The characters are creative and the result is a balanced, beautiful book.

George, Boris and Nepo’s story unfolds (including literally!) as George tries to use the night to create the best sandcastle. Despite little to no ability to communicate, he sets to work with the stranger from beneath the waves to create a night-time kingdom. The book demonstrates that friendship and common ground, can go beyond what can only be put across with words.

The illustrations make the book by far. There is something so peaceful yet intriguing about the moonlit seaside. Much like Turnbull’s Sea Tiger, the creatures are beautifully rendered and seem to embody the silent life of the seabed. All this is not to say the the story is any less then great. Turnbull is a master of the picture book form, as the illustrations and words slip into each other perfectly.

I recommend Kings of the Castle to any fan of good picture books. Children are captivated by it and adults are awed by it. Turnbull is swiftly becoming one of my favourite author-illustrators.


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