Candy Gourlay

Candy Gourlay was Writer-Illustrator in Residence from March until September 2019. During this time, she explored the theme of books as both windows and mirrors to the world. 

Philippines-born and London-based, Candy is well-known for her books Bone Talk, Is It a Mermaid? (illustrated by Francesca Chessa), Shine and Tall Story.

Candy has been nominated for top industry prizes including the Guardian Children’s Book Prize, the Carnegie Medal, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award and the Branford Boase Award.

When she was appointed, Candy said on her residency:

'Growing up in the Philippines in uncertain times made me think I would probably never get a chance to see the world. But books proved me wrong.
'Between the covers of books, I travelled all over the world, met the most extraordinary characters and learned that there were more ways to live than I knew. Someone said books are windows and mirrors. Windows because they allow you to look beyond your own experience. Mirrors because they reflect the universality of humanity. Windows and Mirrors – as BookTrust's Writer in Residence, I hope everyone will join in exploring this theme.'

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Features by Candy Gourlay


Related books by Candy Gourlay

Is it a Mermaid?

Author: Candy Gourlay Illustrator: Francesca Chessa

Bel and Benji meet a friendly dugong, also known as a sea cow, on a tropical beach. This delightful book about friendship, imagination and self-belief includes factual information about these gentle marine mammals, who are sadly at threat of extinction. 

Read more about Is it a Mermaid?

Bone Talk

Author: Candy Gourlay

Samkad is a boy from a remote Filipino "headhunter" tribe called Bontok in the highlands of the Philippines, back in around 1899 – on the brink of invasion by American invaders. A brilliant, exciting and fascinating adventure story.

Read more about Bone Talk


Author: Candy Gourlay

A fascinating and mysterious tale of twins and superstition and separation.

Read more about Shine

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