The Gargoyle

Zana Fraillon, Ross Morgan (illus.)

The Gargoyle
Hachette Australia
28 June 2023

The Gargoyle

Zana Fraillon, Ross Morgan (illus.)

He's old, this gargoyle. Very old. Older than me. Older than anyone. He looks tired. If I had a seat, I would give it to him.

He shuffles past me and stands near the door and watches the city smushing past.

I think I hear him sigh. An echoey, achy, hollow sort of sigh, like the wind when it gusts down lanes and through tunnels and in and out of the big drains that stretch under the city.

This is the moving story of an old gargoyle, forced off his rooftop to make way for a new development in a barren cityscape, and the child who encounters him on an overcrowded train. When the gargoyle is ordered off the train, he leaves his suitcase behind. The child opens the case and unleashes the gargoyle's many memories of the city and its inhabitants. When the case crumbles, leaving nothing but a small seed, the child decides to find a place to bring the gargoyle, and the soul of the city, back.

A unforgettable story about conservation, ageing and legacies which will leave a forever imprint on your heart.


The muted, sombre illustrations emanating from the pages of The Gargoyle beckon us into a grungy urban setting: the dirty central station of a decaying city, a graffiti covered train packed with commuters, and a tired, isolating sadness.

Eyes are downcast, but a lone child is aware of the gargoyle dragging a heavy suitcase into the carriage, his body old and broken, his spirit forlorn, world-weary. But within the mysterious suitcase lie the fading memories of a long forgotten yesterday, and a tiny seed that holds the promise of a joyful and brightly coloured world yet to come.

A hauntingly thought-provoking story of conservation, kindness and connection, ageing and legacy, The Gargoyle is a lyrical expression of optimism and wonder, a profound meditation and a song of hope for the generations. It’s a beautiful book for families and classes to read together and discuss. Highly recommended for ages 5+.

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