As well as praising The Ice Monster’s rollicking story and Tony Ross’ perfectly matched illustrations, the judges applauded the way it has turned even more children on to books. “David Walliams is a gift to a whole generation of young readers—an absolute champion of an author. The Ice Monster is gloriously, snortingly funny—warm, wacky, wise and there for the reader,” said one.
Alice O’Keeffe, Books Editor at The Bookseller, said: “Our shortlists this year took the judges from Georgian London to the Second World War to contemporary New York. There are books from exciting fresh voices at the very start of their career, contrasted with books from with well-established brand authors at the top of their game. These are the books that sum up 2018 but which, we think, will be read for years to come.”
Walliams, whose children’s books have sold more than 25m copies, does not do subtle, but he does unsubtle very well. He mixes exaggeration, anachronism, slapstick, innuendo, fart jokes, various typefaces and a quantity of sounds in large print of the DOOF, TWANG, THUD variety. Ross’s expertly energetic caricatures on every page make the improbability credible.