Reviews

  • '‘Abigail’ review in Junior Magazine' sketchbook image

    ‘Abigail’ review in Junior Magazine

    Friday 5th July 2013

    “This may be a story about numbers (‘Abigail loved to count, it was her very favourite thing’) but by far the most compelling aspect of Rayner’s picture book are the soul-warmingly wonderful illustrations.

    Rich purples mingle with burnt reds and tiny twinkling stars in an evocative African night sky as Abigail, a squiggly spotty giraffe, teaches beautifully rendered zebras how to count flowers in the ground. Splodgy watercolour paints mingle with etched charcoal numerals as arithmetic-loving Abi counts verdant leaves, then ‘Whoosh!’, a spread of a cheetah storming the sands in spicy orange leaves you almost feeling the heat of the plains on your skin.

    Beautiful imagery aside, there’s plenty of counting here to stimulate young minds, and a surprising pull-out page at the end will delight your child’s sense of adventure.”

    Fiona McKim

  • '‘Iris and Isaac’ review in The Guardian' sketchbook image

    ‘Iris and Isaac’ review in The Guardian

    Saturday 2nd October 2010

    “Catherine Rayner’s soft line but boldly conceived animals have already won her well-deserved praise for her previous titles, Augustus and His Smile and Harris Finds His Feet. Here two polar bears, Iris and Isaac, are equally delightful and the warm-hearted story about the breaking and remaking of friendship, with its underlying message about the importance of sharing, is gently and humorously conveyed. Rayner’s distinction is her exceptional ability to convey both character and landscape with the minimum of detail: polar bears sulk and then reunite across hugely atmospheric blue-green wintery spreads, conveying both warmth and cold in a single moment.”

    Julia Eccleshare

  • 'Norris, The Bear Who Shared review in The Sunday Times' sketchbook image

    Norris, The Bear Who Shared review in The Sunday Times

    Sunday 25th April 2010

    “It seems every illustrator has to do a bear book sometime, and making the bear lovable, and the book new, is the challenge. Catherine Rayner, one of The Big Picture’s 10 Best New Illustrators, has succeeded in style. Norris is wise and knows that plorringes are the best fruit of all. He is also patient, and waits for one to drop from the tree. Waiting, too, are Tulip the raccoon and Violet the mouse. They small and touch and listen to the plorringe. It smells of honey and sunny days. It is as soft as candyfloss. And it doesn’t make a sound. When it falls, it bumps Norris on the head (cue laughter). Being kind as well as wise, Norris shares the fruit and makes friends. Painted in big, free, watercolour strokes, inky lines and pencil, with lots of different perspectives, expressions and attitudes (Norris snoozing, Norris surprised, Norris waving his feet in the air), this book is as war, soft and delicious as a plorringe.”

    Nicolette Jones

  • '‘Sylvia and Bird’ review in The Daily Telegraph' sketchbook image

    ‘Sylvia and Bird’ review in The Daily Telegraph

    Saturday 27th March 2010

    “Catherine Rayner has a marvelous gift for capturing the souls of animals in a few, rich washes of colour. The artist can make readers feel the proud weight of a tiger in orange, or the shy velvet of a moose in brown. Her tender tale of a baby hare, Harris Finds His Feet, won last years Kate Greenaway Medal. Sylvia and Bird, the strange and simple story of a dragons friendship with an elusive bird, is beautifully balanced both visually and emotionally. They’re gorgeous characters, but Rayner’s magic lies in the enticingly mysterious spaces she leaves around them.”

    Helen Brown