I couldn't believe my good fortune...

...when my wonderful agent rang me up to tell me about a manuscript that I might want to read and perhaps create a cover for. It's a well worn cliche but I was spell bound after the first page...

"What do you do if you find a talking THING?

You leave it and run.

And then you come back."

The manuscript was for Fish Boy and the author is the amazing Chloe Daykin.

 
 
The story is centred on a boy named Billy and his life in the North East of England.  "Billy's got a lot on his mind - that he'd rather not think or talk about. So he watches David Attenborough, because Sir David's asked all the questions and got all the answers, and swims in the sea, just letting his mind drift... When new boy and nature fan Patrick Green starts at school with 'fingers of steel, strength of a bear,' and a mackerel swims up to Billy's face, blows bubbles into his Vista Clear mask and says 'Fish Boy', Billy knows he can't keep it a secret, because a crazy talking mackerel changes EVERYTHING."

The story is centred on a boy named Billy and his life in the North East of England. 

"Billy's got a lot on his mind - that he'd rather not think or talk about. So he watches David Attenborough, because Sir David's asked all the questions and got all the answers, and swims in the sea, just letting his mind drift... When new boy and nature fan Patrick Green starts at school with 'fingers of steel, strength of a bear,' and a mackerel swims up to Billy's face, blows bubbles into his Vista Clear mask and says 'Fish Boy', Billy knows he can't keep it a secret, because a crazy talking mackerel changes EVERYTHING."

The writing is so sensitive and so well observed. It's full of humour too. Some passages of text took me me back instantly to my time at school.  "I get a lot of teacher eyebrow attention and three what's up with you elbow pokes from Patrick.."

The writing is so sensitive and so well observed. It's full of humour too. Some passages of text took me me back instantly to my time at school. 

"I get a lot of teacher eyebrow attention and three what's up with you elbow pokes from Patrick.."

The pages were designed brilliantly by Emma at Faber and Faber

The pages were designed brilliantly by Emma at Faber and Faber

A little painting inspired by my time with the story.

A little painting inspired by my time with the story.

Some fishy experiments!

Some fishy experiments!

Think it fits in pretty well! 

Think it fits in pretty well! 

Enormous thanks to Chloe Daykin and Emma at Faber and Faber!

Fish Boy is out now.