Chris Haughton
(Walker Books)

When Little Owl falls off the nest, he is rescued by Squirrel who is very keen to help him find his mummy again. Basing his search on Little Owl’s descriptions, Squirrel is finding many contenders, but none turn out to be Little Owl’s mummy. Thankfully Frog eventually comes to the rescue to help reunite the Owl family.

This simple story of baby-loses-mummy and mistaken identities is witty and wonderfully supported by Chris Haughton’s artwork which is some of the most unusual and beautifully coloured work I’ve seen this year. Haughton uses simple shapes and his uncluttered style helps make this a book which will be enjoyed by the youngest of readers. The fear of being separated from one’s mother will resonate with a young audience and the happy (and highly humorous) resolution will be most satisfactory for them. I cannot emphasise enough how beautiful the palette of colours used is – so unusual for a picture book but bold and utterly gorgeous.
If you like unusual, highly stylish and retro-looking picture books, look this one up because you will not be disappointed.

Christ Haughton won Gold in the children’s book category of the Best of British Illustration Awards for this book.