BLODIN THE BEAST by Michael Morpurgo, published 1995 by Francis Lincoln Children’s Books
(Final shortlist Kate Greenaway Medal – 1996)
Blodin the Beast stalks the land, breathing fire and razing villages to ruins. Who or what can end his tyranny? Only wise old Shanga, weaving his strange carpet, knows how to destroy the monster – but he is too old to cross the mountains that never end…..
This was the very first title that I was to paint entirely in water-colours. It was also the first story written to a ‘picture book’ format by Michael Morpurgo, who was, of course, very well known at the time and I most certainly was not - so it was a great treat to be given the chance to paint it. It was then shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway medal which was the absolute icing on the cake. It didn’t win but it kick started my life as a picture book illustrator.
“This apparently simple story is delightfully illustrated by Christina Balit, an accomplished artist and teacher whose dramatic pictures betray her versatility as both actor and playwright. Here she combines wide undulating vistas with intricate collage-type miniatures.”
Times Educational Supplement