The Imaginary (Hardcover)

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The Imaginary Cover Image
By A. F. Harrold, Emily Gravett (Illustrator)
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Staff Reviews

Reading jaw-droppingly creative books like THE IMAGINARY, I’m realizing that I wasn’t the most original six year-old. I didn’t daydream up enormous pink dinosaurs named Snowflake, I just went on adventures with Peter Pan. Still, I think I’m catching up, with the raptures of cleverness THE IMAGINARY’s sent me on. Rudger is Amanda’s very best friend, even if he is an Imaginary. But when sinister Mr. Bunting, who EATS Imaginaries (is there anything more horrifying?), arrives on their doorstep, this sweet story of friendship becomes a gripping race against time to save Amanda’s memory, and save Rudger from Fading away into nothing. This beautiful book, with illustrations by turns whimsical and chilling, is like being ten again, hooking your arm in your grade school best friend’s, and running off down the road in search of adventure.

— From Liz's Kids Book Recommendations


Rudger is Amanda Shuffleup's imaginary friend. Nobody else can see Rudger--until the evil Mr. Bunting arrives at Amanda's door. Mr. Bunting hunts imaginaries. Rumor has it that he even eats them. And now he's found Rudger.

Soon Rudger is alone, and running for his imaginary life. He needs to find Amanda before Mr. Bunting catches him--and before Amanda forgets him and he fades away to nothing. But how can an unreal boy stand alone in the real world?

In the vein of Coraline, this gripping take on imaginary friends comes to life in a lush package: beautiful illustrations (10 in full color) by acclaimed artist Emily Gravett, a foiled and debossed case cover, printed endpapers, and deckled page edges.

About the Author

A.F. Harrold is an English author and poet who writes and performs for adults and children. He is the owner of many books, a handful of hats, a few good ideas, and one beard. He lives in Reading, England with a stand-up comedian and two cats. Visit him online at Gravett is the author and illustrator of numerous children's books, including Wolves, winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor Award for Illustration; and Orange Pear Apple Bear, a Quills Award finalist and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year. Emily lives in Brighton, England, with her partner, their daughter, and the family dog.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780802738110
ISBN-10: 0802738117
Publisher: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
Pages: 240
Language: English