A Monster Calls.

“A Monster Calls”, written by Patrick Ness and illustrated by Jim Kay recently won the Carnegie Medal for the story; and the Kate Greenaway Medal for the illustrations, for a touching children’s book released earlier this year.

To promote the book, Chadwick Press created a lovely little animated short built from the illustrations that do a wonderful job of bringing the book to life. The story is about a young man that is having a recurring nightmare, every night since his mother started her treatments. While this isn’t directly conveyed in the animation, the mood and look create a compelling reason to pick up a copy of the book and read it.

The story is inspired by an idea from the writer Siobhan Dowd before her premature death from breast cancer. After her death, her editor Denise Johnstone-Burt asked Ness to complete the story for Dowd. The authors note by Ness sums this up so well. “She had the characters, a premise, and a beginning. What she didn’t have, unfortunately, was time.”


Ben Dorland at Walker Books, and the publishers, then brought in Jim Kay to illustrate the book which features wonderful monochromatic illustrations that perfectly capture the atmosphere of the book without giving away to  much. How Jim Kay created the illustrations is available  on his site and well worth the time to check out.

” Conor looked at the ground, then up a the moon, anywhere but at the monster’s eyes. The nightmare feeling was rising in him, turning everything around him to darkness, making everything seem heavy and impossible, like he’d been asked to lift a mountain with his bare hands, and no one would let him leave until he did.”