Alexis Deacon graduated from the University of Brighton where he studied Illustration, with a first class honours degree. Before graduating he was also awarded the Burt Brill and Cardens award for the second best degree show in 2000. He now lives in London.
Alexis Deacon's second picture book is as wonderfully fresh and inventive as his first, SLOW LORIS.
Alexis Deacon graduated from the University of Brighton, where he studied Illustration, gaining a first class honours degree. Alexis Deacon was one of Booktrust's ten Best New Illustrators in 2008, and Beegu was a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year and shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Alexis lives in London.
Beegu, a winsome, banana-yellow alien with floppy ears that trail on the ground, crash-lands on earth and sets off in search of her mother. Deacon's (Slow Loris) simple text follows Beegu on her wanderings; skillful pacing incorporates full-bleed spreads plus panel and spot illustrations, and the artwork emphasizes the dolefulness of earth, the city's gray gutters and stark fences. Beegu snuggles with a litter of puppies and joins a schoolyard full of children at recess, but the dog-shelter owner and a forbidding primary school teacher put an end to her short-lived fun. A desolate illustration depicts Beegu alone, stretched out under the night sky. When her parents come at last to rescue her, beaming up Beegu to their spaceship in a bath of green light, she tells them of her adventure (expressed as a word balloon filled with exotic-looking hieroglyphics). "Earth creatures were mostly big and unfriendly," Beegu tells them, "but there were some small ones who seemed hopeful." She gazes wistfully out the spaceship window at the receding earth: "Beegu would always remember those small ones." Beegu's black outline and solid yellow center evoke a celestial simplicity, and affectingly contrast with the solidly inked, earthbound human figures. The accomplished artwork underscores the children's easy acceptance of Beegu and highlights the book's uplifting message that acts of kindness have lasting effects. Ages 3-6. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
This tale of an extraterrestrial is given depth and pathos by
heart-twanging illustrations. -- Steve Cole * S Magazine, Sunday
An absolute treasure, full of visual metaphor and riches which reveal themselves more and more at each reading -- Valerie Coghlan * Inis *
The accomplished artwork underscores the children's easy acceptance of Beegu and highlights the book's uplifting message that acts of kindness have lasting effects * Publishers Weekly *
Alexis Deacon's atmospheric illustrations capture the pathos of being an outsider -- Julia Eccleshare * Guardian *
Moving and heart-warming * Financial Times *
K-Gr 2-Children will sympathize with Beegu, a cuddly, yellow extraterrestrial, when her spaceship crashes and strands her far from home. While looking for some friends, the lost alien thinks she hears her mother calling and is led into a big city where, instead, she finds a box of puppies that welcome her; she curls up with them to sleep. Then a man from the stray dog shelter finds her in the box and turns her out. Forced to continue her sad journey, Beegu comes upon a playground filled with happy children and joins them in play until another adult rejects her, sending her out once more to wander in the strange world. Finally, her parents arrive to rescue her and she tells them of her experiences, speaking fondly of the small Earth creatures who were so friendly and full of hope. The quirky, economical illustrations aptly reflect the lonely mood of this touching story. Beegu, with her floppy ears and three little eyes, is an appealing character who conveys a message about the importance of accepting those who are different and of remaining hopeful.-Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.