Book of the Month – November 2021

Y Bachgen, y Wahadden, y Llwynog a'r Ceffyl by Charlie Mackesy, translated by Mererid Hopwood

Our November choice is Y Bachgen, y Wahadden, y Llwynog a'r Ceffyl by Charlie Mackesy, translated by Mererid Hopwood

A book of hope for uncertain times, Charlie Mackesy's The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse invites you to enter the world of his four unlikely friends, discovering their stories and their most important life lessons. 

The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared millions of times online - perhaps you've seen them? They've also been recreated by children in schools and hung on hospital walls. They sometimes even appear on lamp posts and on cafe and bookshop windows. Perhaps you saw the boy and mole on the Comic Relief T-shirt, Love Wins? 

Acclaimed poet and Hay Festival fellow Mererid Hopwood is the translator behind an extraordinary Welsh edition - Y Bachgen, y Wahadden, y Llwynog a’r Ceffyl - bringing its inspiring message to readers in Welsh for the first time.

BOOK OF THE MONTH LIVE Q&A with Charlie Mackesy & Mererid Hopwood will take place on Tuesday 9 November 2021, 4pm

Register to watch


Read it? Loved it? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #HBOTM.

Buy the book

Further reading

Charlie Mackesy's lessons in kindness, CBS News 

Meet the author: Charlie Mackesy, Penguin UK  

About the authors

Charlie Mackesy is an artist, illustrator and author who began his career as a cartoonist for The Spectator, before becoming a book illustrator for Oxford University Press. His award-winning work has featured in books, private collections, galleries and public spaces around the world. He worked with Richard Curtis on the set of Love Actually to create a set of drawings to be auctioned for Comic Relief, and with Nelson Mandela on a lithograph project, The Unity Series. His internationally bestselling book, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, was published in October 2019. Charlie's words and illustrations have brought comfort to many and have been shared online around the world as well as on t-shirts for Comic Relief, magazine covers, street lamp posts, school classrooms, cafés, women's safe houses, prisons, hospital wards and as NHS hospital computer screensavers. Away from art Charlie co-runs Mama Buci, a honey social enterprise in Zambia. He lives in London with his dog Barney.

Mererid Hopwood is one of Wales’ most celebrated poets with published works including Singing in Chains (2004), O Ran (2009), Poets' Graves/Beddau'r Beirdd (2014) and Nes Draw (2016); her books for children Ar Bwys (2007), Straeon o’r Mabinogi (2012) and Cyfres Dosbarth Miss Prydderch (2016–19); and her translations Seren Lowri (2005) and Geiriau Diflanedig (2019). She is a three-time Eisteddfod prize winner, has been Children's Laureate Wales, and was awarded the Glyndwr Prize for her contribution to literature. Her collection Nes Draw won the poetry section of the Welsh language Book of the Year Awards 2016 and won the Tir na n-Og prize for children’s writing in 2018. Writing mainly in Welsh, Hopwood has degrees in Spanish and German language and literature and has taught throughout her career. She is the Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol Hay Festival/Hay Festival Creative Wales International Fellow for 2020–2021.

About Hay Festival's Book of the Month

Hay Festival's Book of the Month is our monthly recommendation of a title we love and think holds particular resonance today. This is our chance to celebrate great works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry – new and old.

Throughout the month, we'll share interesting links and articles relating to our selection on social media using #HBOTM and invite you all to get involved with your questions and comments.

Each month we'll have a free digital event with the author for you to ask them questions and explore their ideas further.

If you'd like to recommend a book for consideration, please share on social media using #HBOTM.

Happy reading!