“Impossible Creatures” Named 2023 Waterstones Book of the Year: A Magical Adventure for Readers of All Ages

Katherine Rundell’s Children’s Novel Triumphs in Prestigious Literary Award

Katherine Rundell’s enchanting children’s novel, “Impossible Creatures,” has been crowned the 2023 Waterstones Book of the Year. Set in a magical archipelago where mythical creatures still roam, the book captured the hearts of booksellers, who voted it as their top recommendation for readers in the past year. Rundell expressed her elation upon receiving the news, emphasizing her disbelief until she saw the written proof. Alongside “Impossible Creatures,” Alice Winn’s “In Memoriam” was named Waterstones Novel of the Year, while GT Karber’s “Murdle” claimed the title of Waterstones Gift of the Year.

A Tale of Immaculate World-Building and Dazzling Storytelling

“Impossible Creatures” has been hailed as a masterpiece of fiction, showcasing immaculate world-building, dazzling storytelling, and a captivating adventure. Bea Carvalho, head of books at Waterstones, described the novel as “as close to perfect as fiction gets.” Carvalho emphasized the book’s status as an immediate classic that will bring delight to children for years to come, while reminding adults of the genius within the pages of children’s literature. Rundell’s novel triumphed over a shortlist of 13 other acclaimed authors, including Zadie Smith and Ann Patchett.

Rundell’s Journey as an Author

Katherine Rundell has established herself as a prominent children’s author, with several acclaimed books to her name. Her previous work, “Rooftoppers,” garnered recognition as the winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award for Best Story in 2014. Rundell’s versatility is evident in her three non-fiction books for adults, including “Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne,” which secured the prestigious Baillie Gifford Prize in 2022. Her book “The Golden Mole and Other Living Treasure” was shortlisted for the 2022 Waterstones Book of the Year.

The Significance of “Impossible Creatures”

Rundell expressed her excitement over “Impossible Creatures” winning the Waterstones Book of the Year, emphasizing its ability to resonate with readers of all ages. The book represents a culmination of Rundell’s extensive research and knowledge, acquired over 15 years of her working life. She believes that children’s books offer a platform to discuss broader themes and values, serving as the vibrant cousin of philosophy. Rundell’s passion for the subject matter is evident in the countless hours she spent in libraries, immersing herself in the world of mythical creatures.

The Future of “Impossible Creatures”

As readers celebrate the recognition of “Impossible Creatures,” Rundell is already hard at work on the second book of the series. Fans can look forward to two more volumes, ensuring a continued journey through the magical archipelago. Rundell’s dedication to her craft and commitment to captivating storytelling promise an unforgettable reading experience for both children and adults alike.


“Impossible Creatures” has rightfully claimed the title of the 2023 Waterstones Book of the Year, captivating readers with its magical world and compelling narrative. Katherine Rundell’s ability to create an immersive and enchanting tale has solidified her position as a master storyteller. As readers eagerly await the next installments in the series, Rundell’s success serves as a reminder of the enduring power of children’s literature and its ability to captivate readers of all ages.






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