A Monster Calls has become the first book ever to win BOTH the CILIP Carnegie and CILIP Kate Greenaway awards.
It is two Carnegie awards in a row for Patrick, who won in 2011 for “Monsters of Men”. In a moving acceptance speech, he paid tribute to the outline left by Siobhan (herself a Carnegie medal in 2009 for Bog Child) and said while he is often asked about what it was like to take on another writer’s idea, he found it wasn’t hard because it immediately triggered ideas and a story he wanted to tell. He paid tribute to his other collaborator on the book, the illustrator Jim Kay and said he was “thrilled” that Jim had been awarded the prestigious Kate Greenaway medal for illustration. Of his own win, he said what made him happiest was that it gives people a reason to keep talking about Siobhan, “a writer of great compassion, intelligence and empathy”.
Jim Kay has won the most prestigious prize in illustration with his first book. “The last time I won an award it was sewn on my swimming trunks” he said in his acceptance speech, also thanking Siobhan and saying her spirit had been captured by Patrick. In thanking CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) he said he owed everything to libraries – not only did he spend a large amount of his childhood in libraries, but he learnt to use photoshop in a library, met his partner (a Librarian!) and found the address of his publisher, Walker Books.
The Judges praised A Monster Calls as “the perfect marriage of text and picture”. Jim’s pictures were “energetic and atmospheric”, “breathtaking, haunting and perfect”. Patrick’s writing “clear, direct and witty with deceptive depths and complexity: devastating, beautiful and truthful”. The Chair of the judging panel Rachel Levy said: “This is a book readers will remember adnd return to over and over again. It is, quite simply, one of the defining books of its generation”.
If you don’t already know the book, click on the animation on the front page – this is a promotion made by Candlewick Press in the US.