ACHUKA Book of the Day 27 Aug 2020
“Milner’s illustrations – inky, smeared, surreal; then razor-sharp and chilling – swing nightmarishly between physical clarity and metaphoric obfuscation.” Ben Harris
Daphne is unbearably sad and adrift. She feels the painful loss of her father acutely and seeks solace both in the security of her local library and in the escape her phone screen provides by blocking out the world around her. As Daphne tries to make sense of what has happened, she recalls memories of shared times and stories past, and in facing the darkness she finds a way back from the tangle of fear and confusion to feel connected once more with her friends and family.
The Girl Who Became a Tree sees poet Joseph Coelho deploy a wide variety of forms with consummate skill, seamlessly weaving together the ancient legend of Daphne, who was turned into a tree to avoid the attentions of the god Apollo, and a contemporary story in which a latter-day Daphne seeks her own freedom.
The illustrator, Kate Milner, was winner of the 2018 Klaus Flugge Prize.