Local author and poet AF Harrold used his imagination to launch his latest book in Reading.
The Imaginary is a children’s novel about Amanda and her imaginary friend, Rudger. The author launched it during October half-term at Reading’s Waterstones branch on Broad Street – the former Union Chapel.
In the book, Amanda thinks she is the only person who can see Rudger … until Mr Bunting arrives at her house bringing danger for the friends.
Mr Bunting is an ‘imaginary’ hunter, he has tracked down Rudger and soon the imaginary boy is running for his life. The question is, how will Rudger survive when there’s no-one around to dream him to life?
At 220 pages, The Imaginary is ideal for a confident reader or as a story to be shared.
As a performance poet AF Harrold understands how words sound when read aloud and this book resonates with language that rolls off the tongue; from the dialogue between the characters to the cliff-hanger chapter endings.
The story is in part comic, quirky, scary and poignant. The atmosphere of the story is enhanced by the illustrations by award-winning Emily Gravett.
Most of the pictures in the book are a moody black and white with splashes of colour on a handful of pages. Gravett has captured the mood of the story beautifully and gives the reader a way into the book.
The attention to detail is remarkable, Val Brethwaite, Design Director at Bloomsbury Publishing plc said; “The book design developed over the weeks until you have the final product that you hold in your hand now. Emily drew small pictures of flying birds on the corner of each page so that when you flick the pages the birds fly. If you take the paper wrapper off the book you can see little figures embossed on the hard back.”
Bloomsbury editor, Katy Paice said; “I found The Imaginary in my slush pile. I picked it up and started reading and knew I had something special on my hands.”
The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold and illustrated by Emily Gravett is published by Bloomsbury in hardback, £12.99. ISBN:978-1-4088-5246-0