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Benji Davies has always loved to paint and draw and from a young age could be found painting pictures at his kitchen table. Being a published illustrator and creator of picture books is the fulfilment of a childhood dream.
He studied animation at University and went on to direct animated commercials, music promos and short films. He has moved from animation into the children’s book world in recent years and says,
The thing I always loved the most in Animation, I still get to do in illustration, which is creating a character, environments, stories, using colour and composition... drawing, planning things out.
The first book that he wrote and illustrated himself is The Storm Whale, published by Simon and Schuster in 2013. To celebrate the launch of this book he created a special knitted whale that he designed in collaboration with his mum. You can buy the book and a knitted whale on his website. The Storm Whale has been shortlisted for the Booktrust 2014 Best Books Award.
His first self-penned picture book The Storm Whale won the inaugural Oscar’s First Book Prize in 2014 and was shortlisted for Booktrust’s Best Book Awards. His second, Grandad’s Island, won the children’s book category of the AOI World Illustration Awards 2015 and was crowned Best Picture Book and overall Children’s Book of the Year at the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards 2015.
Also An Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall (Candlewick/Walker – October 2016)
The Storm Whale In Winter (Simon & Schuster – September 2016)
The Dragon & The Nibblesome Knight by Elli Woollard (Macmillan Children’s Books – May 2016)
I Love You Already! by Jory John (Harper)
Grandad’s Island (Simon and Schuster)
Goodnight Already by Jory John (Harper Collins)
The Giant of Jum by Elli Woollard (Macmillan)
I Thought this Was a Bear Book by Tara Lazar (Aladdin paperbacks)
On Sudden Hill by Linda Sarah (Simon and Schuster)
The Storm Whale (Simon & Schuster)
Jump On Board The Animal Train by Lynne Moore & Naomi Kefford (Simon & Schuster)
Winston Was Worried by Pamela Duncan Edwards (Macmillan)
When The Dragons Came by Lynne Moore & Naomi Kefford (Simon & Schuster)
Hodge the Hedgehog by Amy Sparkes (Meadowside Children’s Books)
On a Pirate Ship by Sarah Courtauld (Usborne Publishing)
In the Castle by Anna Milbourne (Usborne Publishing)
On the Moon by Anna Milbourne (Usborne Publishing)
"The Storm Whale is an evocative portrayal of a child's need for friendship, told through the sparest of text and imagery in this beautiful picture book."