Friday 24 August 2012

The Art of Children's Books Exhibition

Hi Chaps,

I wanted to write about 'The Illustrators: The Art of Children's Books Curated by Julia Donaldson' exhibition, which I saw a few days ago.

Basically it's an exhibition of illustrators who've illustrated Julia Donaldsons's books.
It was at the Rheged Centre just outside Penrith, info here -
Here's the leaflet -

But it was very interesting indeed, it had examples of work by Axel Scheffler, Lydia Monks, David Roberts,
Emily Gravett, Joel Stewart, Paul Hess, Anna Currey and Thomas Docherty.
It was great to see the actual artwork, and some artists had supplied pencil roughs too.
There were some great ones by Anna Currey, which I enjoyed seeing.

It was especially good to see stuff by David Roberts and Lydia Monks, who I'm particular fans of, and own books by.
And there were some great streets and bulky clouds by Thomas Docherty.

The exhibition also had some great activities. there was a giant magnetic wall-mounted Gruffalo jigsaw and they had a Deep Dark Wood reading corner too, see the picture below.

And also a short film of Quentin Blake talking about his illustration, showing him working from roughs and idea sketches, very inspiring indeed.
So, if you're up by Penrith till 2nd Sept I recommend popping along.
Otherwise, I believe it's a touring exhibition, so keep a look out.

Friday 10 August 2012

The Blooz Arrives

Look what arrived in the post, an actual copy of my book 'Stuck With the Blooz'.
Here it is just out of the package.

It's great to see it in real life and see all the pictures properly in real life on paper rather than on screen.
And with my Artist's head, rather than my Reader's head on, I do think it's been designed as a package really nicely.
Just noticing all the bits and bobs that the design team did with the cover etc.
I like the way they've echoed the stripes on the Blooz's Victorian swimsuit on the back cover and dust jacket, and have used the goldfish, crayon and paper plane on the dust jacket flaps and back cover.
Also, the picture of the Blooz dripping on the child was a favourite with everyone, but it had to be lost from the story on the inside, but a use was found for it on the back there, which was very nice.
Here are some pics of said bits.

And the paper texture is lovely. Really nice feel, and it shows off the colour and texture in the art really nicely too.
Well done indeed all the chaps at Harcourt.

But enough of me talking about the design and paper texture like some pretentious artist with a funny haircut and silly trousers.
Here's a sneak peek at one of the spreads.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Lawks, my book is out.

"Watch Your Tongue Cecily Beasley" is now actually available to actually buy.
It's published by Sterling in the US, but is also available in the UK.
You can get it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and The Book Depository.
It's a fun rhyming story written by Lane Fredrickson, and it was great to illustrate.
Here's Cecily -

And there are already a few reviews out for it, this is from Publishers Weekly
"It is said that the tongue is one of the strongest muscles in the human body, and the one belonging to ill-mannered Cecily Beasley is a whole lot stronger by the end of her ordeal in this cautionary tale. Cecily has many bad habits—“She tap-danced on tables./ She cartwheeled in dirt./ And she wrote, ‘I won’t share’ on the front of her shirt”—but worst of all is her tendency to stick out her tongue at friends and family alike. She is warned that her tongue might get stuck that way, and, wouldn’t you know it, it does just that. Debut author Fredrickson doesn’t stop there: a bird promptly builds a nest on Cecily’s tongue, forcing the girl to carry it around in front of her face. It’s not until the Mockingbeak Tongue-snatchers hatch (and promptly stick out their tongues at Cecily) that she has a change of heart. Fredrickson’s galloping verse delivers the story’s message with a light touch (and some clever rhymes), while British illustrator Davis’s loose, expressive cartoons make the most of the comic absurdity of the premise. Ages 4–7"

And this is from Parents & Teachers Blog
“Cecily Beasley was never polite. She never said, ‘Thank you,’ or ‘Please,’ or ‘Good night.’”
Cecily Beasley is, in fact, a rather rotten little girl. She sticks out Her tongue at her teachers and ruins her friends’ birthday parties. Will she ever learn to be a polite young lady?
Lane Fredrickson and Jon Davis’ rhyming book about a girl who learns manners the hard way will be a laugh for children and parents alike. Kids will enjoy the tale of Cecily’s misadventures, and the book will give parents the opportunity to help their own children learn a lesson about how to be polite.
Not only does the book teach young readers a lesson, it’s also a joy to read. I love the humor of Fredrickson’s rhyme about Cecily, and Davis’ colorful illustrations are fun from the very first page. This book is great for those who need a brush-up on manners and those who enjoy a funny story."

So that's good, they're nice and positive.

So everyone rush out and buy it :)