The cover (by Chris Wormell, an award-winning British illustrator and print-maker, specialising in wood engraving and linocut techniques) of La Belle Sauvage, the first volume of Philip Pullman’s highly-anticipated The Book of Dust, has just been been revealed [today, Thursday 29th June 2017].
The image depicts the ‘massive flood’ at the centre of the new story and features the canoe, La Belle Sauvage, owned by Malcolm Polstead, the book’s hero. The cover also features another character, whose identity has not yet been revealed, and two dæmons.
Both the UK and US book jackets are designed by Wormell.
La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One will be published simultaneously on 19th October 2017 by David Fickling Books in association with Penguin Random House Children’s in the UK, and Random House Children’s Books in the US.
Philip Pullman says: “I’ve admired Chris Wormell’s artwork for a long time, and when the chance of having him illustrate the covers of my new novel came along I leapt at it. I relish his sure strong line and the graphic power of his images, in whatever medium he’s working. It’s been a delight to see the work emerge and I’m thrilled with the result.”
Chris Wormell adds: “Twenty years ago, my twelve-year-old son recommended a book he’d just finished reading. It was called Northern Lights. I loved it. My whole family loved it, and the two further volumes of the trilogy that followed. One of the first things my younger daughter – then eight – saw on the stage was the National Theatre’s production of His Dark Materials. She was spellbound. She’s loved live theatre ever since.
“It’s been wonderful to work with an author my family has enjoyed so much. Indeed, my older daughter commented, “Wow, Dad! Isn’t that one of the coolest jobs you’ve ever done?”
Recently, Philip Pullman said of the title: “Who or what is La Belle Sauvage? She is a boat, a canoe to be precise, and her owner is a boy, Malcolm Polstead, the hero of this story whom we have seen in an earlier part of Lyra’s story. The canoe is important in this part of The Book of Dust, because some of the story is set during a massive flood.”
Chris Wormell illustrated the first extract from La Belle Sauvage, which appeared in the Guardian in May 2017, revealing a baby Lyra, Malcolm and his canoe and the return of Lord Asriel, Lyra’s father, and his dæmon Stelmaria.
Wormell is an award-winning British illustrator and print-maker, specialising in wood engraving and linocut techniques. He has written and illustrated his own children’s books and was responsible for the iconic cover of Helen Macdonald’s Costa Book Award-winning memoir, H is For Hawk.
Two decades after Northern Lights (1995) (The Golden Compass in the US) — the first book of Pullman’s world-famous His Dark Materials trilogy, which has sold more than 17.5 million copies in over 40 languages — La Belle Sauvage will return to the parallel world that has enthralled readers young and old. It is set 10 years before Northern Lights and centers on the much-beloved Lyra Belacqua. Alethiometers, daemons, and the Magisterium all return to play their part.
When its publication date was announced in February, Waterstones MD James Daunt commented in The Bookseller: “It will be another queues at midnight book.” About His Dark Materials,Daunt added: “[His Dark Materials] introduces people to reading and cements their love of books. People go back to them again and again. They are hugely important and seminal.”
David Fickling – Pullman’s long-term editor – commented: “There is a mystery here, an exciting mystery and I urge any reader to set out on the adventure. You will not be disappointed. The Book of Dust is magnificent.”