In this cover design, watercolour paint is used to set a particular restrained tone that evokes the dark war-time era, at the same still convey warm nostalgia through the texture. The characters are walking "into" a space where several visual elements of the narrative hint to what lies ahead of them and the audience who follows them behind.
"This cover stood out from the start – it spoke to us instantly. The attention to detail conveys the story perfectly and draws the reader in. I love the connection between the characters, and the deceptively simple colour palette perfectly encapsulates the warmth they share although surrounded by sadness and hurt. Beautiful – our standout winner." – Anna Billson, Art Director, Penguin Random House UK Children’s
"This design instantly stood out – I loved the simplicity and how delicate and sensitive it is. The typography, the childlike type and the use of white space is perfect, and the idea of the characters all walking 'into' a space also works extremely well. This was my first choice from the beginning, a stunning, stand-out cover." – Sarah Horne, Illustrator
"Chi's illustration is beautiful. The empty white negative space, whilst being incredibly eye-catching, also provokes a real sense of loneliness and isolation. That is, until you see the clasped hands of Will and Mister Tom - lending a sense of hope to the piece and underlining the bond they share. It's moving, it's sensitive, and I think it's fantastic. The watercolour/ink illustrations, all providing little snippets and clues from within the story, have been so delicately rendered, too, it's a joy to look at! I think this cover encapsulates the themes and feelings of the book perfectly, and just happens to look awesome whilst doing it." – Jamie Littler, Author and Illustrator
"We’re always looking for a great cover that helps tell the story and entice the reader to pick up the book. It’s so important for kids to feel intrigued enough to open and start to read and this stunning cover really does that." – Francesca Dow, Managing Director, Penguin Random House UK Children's