Nicola Killen

Fluff and Billy the penguins do everything together. They are the best of friends, but Fluff is getting a bit annoyed that smaller penguin Billy is copying everything that he is doing. Eventually things turn a little bit sour and Fluff and Billy end up not talking to each other. But not talking makes the two friends sad; can they really stay cross with each other for long?

Fluff and Billy are just gorgeous. I love penguins and these two are very special. The artwork is absolutely stunning, so gentle and yet so vivid. It is a very accurate observation of the ups and downs of friendship, and particularly how young children can fall out and make friends again so very quickly, and carries a lovely message about forgiveness. As always, using animals makes the message all the more efficient for children, as they can relate to the feelings without feeling threatened or “found out”. The text is short and simple and therefore can be enjoyed by the youngest of audiences and this is mirrored in the illustrations which are uncluttered. This is also helped greatly by the lovely  layout and typography.

Nicola Killen’s style is wonderful. Her artwork captures the innocence and emotions of childhood, whilst remaining very engaging for young audiences. The illustrations in Fluff and Billy are very atmospheric, with the use of soft pastel colours catching the coldness of the ice field wonderfully.

Fluff and Billy is beautifully crafted picture book which proves once again that Nicola Killen is one illustrator worth looking out for.

Check out The Story of Fluff and Billy part 1: Where the idea came from and The Story of Fluff and Billy part 2:  Developing the idea on Nicola’s blog.

All illustrations © Nicola Killen

Many thanks to Egmont for sending a review copy of “Fluff and Billy”.
Be sure to come back tomorrow for Nicola’s Fabulous Five!