The Longest Strongest Thread 06/04/20
Publisher: Random House
The Man is a dialogue between a boy, John, and a tiny naked man who appears in John's room in the middle of the night, demanding clothes.
Despite the man's cantankerous demands, a bond forms between the two as John hides him from his parents.
The Man won the Kurt Maschler 'Emil' Award in 1992 and it is well deserved: the book is visually spectacular. Images such as the Man wearing a digital watch as a belt are testament to Briggs' extraordinary imagination. There is no narration, but it is a complete contrast to the wordless The Snowman.
Speech bubbles occasionally cut across the main dialogue from the cartoon-style drawings. The book is dialogue-heavy, but the two voices are distinct and expressive, and perfectly capture an enchanting friendship.
What The Man lacks in subtlety, it makes up for in message: kindness, acceptance of strangers, intolerance of prejudice. You'll never look at everyday household objects in quite the same way again…