Laura Carlin
King of the Sky

Walker Books (6+)

9781406348613 (hardback)

Starting a new life in a new country, a young boy feels lost and alone – until he meets an old man who keeps racing pigeons. Together they pin their hopes on a race across Europe and the special bird they believe can win it: King of the Sky.

A powerful eloquent story is evocatively brought to life by the soft smoky images of the mining community and the use of childlike capitalisation of the text cleverly reflects the narrative voice. The landscape of pit head chimneys, the surrounding hills and the pigeons in flight are hauntingly beautiful and contrast with the images of Rome and the memories of war. The Lowry-esque figures are poignant, characterful and full of emotion, fully capturing the sensitive power of this migration story.


Laura Carlin is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and an award-winning illustrator, including The Biennial of Illustration Bratislava award (BIB) for children’s book illustration in 2015 for The Iron Man and A World of Your Own, and also the Bologna Ragazzi Prize for illustration in 2014.  Her work has featured in Vogue, The Guardian and The New York Times.  She lives in London, England.

Back to The CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal Shortlist for 2018