Winning Year: 1983 Illustrator: Anthony Browne Title: Gorilla
Julia MacRae Current Publisher:
0744594391 In Print
Hannah loves gorillas but has never seen one. Her father's too busy to take her to the zoo - or for anything else come to that. For her birthday, Hannah asks her father for a gorilla - but is disappointed when she discovers that the gorilla she's been given is just a toy. But then something extraordinary happens; the toy turns into a real gorilla, puts on her father's hat and coat and takes her off for a magical visit to the zoo.
When he was a boy Anthony Browne wanted to be a journalist, a cartoonist or a boxer. He grew up in a pub and when he was little, he would go into the bar, stand on a table and tell stories about a character he'd made up, called Big Dum Tackle.
Trained at Leeds College of Art, Anthony studied graphic design and originally wanted to be a painter. Needing to earn money, however, he took a job as a medical illustrator at Leeds Royal Infirmary. "I was going through a very morbid phase following the death of my father which is probably why it suited me so well. The job involved going into operations and doing illustrations for medical students. Technically it was an excellent training, and I learned how to use watercolour in a very tight way."
After a brief spell training as a teacher he worked for an advertising agency - which he hated because it was all too literal. He spent 15 years as a designer for Gordon Fraser's greetings cards before starting to produce picture books.
By far my favourite children's author, and quite possibly my favourite children's story. I'm stunned that the book is as old as it is - the illustrations and story are as fresh now as i remember them in school twenty years ago. A brilliantly clever, multi-layered book that will delight children.