Griffin and Sabine


I first learnt of this series when I was in secondary school in Singapore. I’m not sure through whom or how but my good friend and I were a little obsessed with it. The little library at our school stocked the trilogy and we’d hide the rest of the books behind other books, in order to ensure that they’d be there for us and only us to read!

So it’s a little nostalgic coming back to this epistolary series in 2013. How carefree life was then, with just tests and exams, friends and activities to worry about. A whole lifetime ago!

All I remembered of the story was that it was a collection of postcards and letters. So the more magical aspect of the story surprised me.

Griffin Moss is an artist living in London. The postcards are his own works. He receives a mysterious postcard from a group of small islands in the South Pacific known as the Sicmon Islands, from a stranger named Sabine Strohem. It turns out that she can see his art, as if looking through his very eyes while he is creating it.


It is a story about two artists, two art lovers who connect through their correspondence, through the art they create in their postcards and letters.

A fun read (you can open the envelopes and unfold the letters to read them), with beautiful illustrations, and a little mystery behind it all.

(And now I have to wait while the second book in the series is returned to the library – it currently is ‘off campus’)


This is my third read for the Postal Reading Challenge (sign-up page)

Nick Bantock attended schools in the northeast suburbs of London, and later an art college in Maidstone, Kent. He began a career as a freelance artist at the age of 23, producing 300 book covers in the ensuing 16 years. In 1988 he moved to Vancouver, and soon after to the nearby Bowen Island, where he had the idea that became the Griffin and Sabine series.

The Griffin and Sabine Trilogybantock Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence (1991)
Sabine’s Notebook: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin and Sabine Continues (1992)
The Golden Mean: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin and Sabine Concludes (1993)
The Morning Star Trilogy
The Gryphon: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin and Sabine is Rediscovered (2001)
Alexandria: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin and Sabine Unfolds (2002)
The Morning Star: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin and Sabine is Illuminated (2003)

The Egyptian Jukebox (1993)
Averse to Beasts (1994)
The Venetian’s Wife (1996)
Paris Out of Hand (1996)
Capolan ArtBox (1997)
The Forgetting Room (1997)
The Museum at Purgatory (1999)
The Artful Dodger: Images and Reflections (2000)
Urgent 2nd Class: Creating Curious Collage, Dubious Documents, and Other Art from Ephemera (2004)
Windflower (2006) – with Edoardo Ponti

Popup books
There Was An Old Lady (1990)
Wings (1990)
Jabberwocky (1991)
Runners, Sliders, Bouncers, Climbers (1992)
Solomon Grundy (1992)
The Walrus and the Carpenter (1992)
Kubla Khan (1993)
Robin Hood (1993)



    1. They are such fun! Although I haven’t heard of The Jolly Postman before, and had to go check it out online – it sounds like something my son would love! He loves getting the mail and opening envelopes 🙂


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