THE GLOBE

midsummer nightNext Sunday at 2.15pm I’ll be in the Watkins Rehearsal Studio in Shakespeare’s Globe doing a workshop.

The Shakespeare’s Telling Tales festival is a great event so I’m already  preparing to make sure that everything runs smoothly on the day.

I am basing the workshop on Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

midsummer night's dream2I’ve prepared some pages in advance so that I can give them to everybody at the beginning of the workshop.  Then the children and their parents can draw and add to these pages and make themselves a small concertina book that they can then take home at the end.

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We are going to look at the magical forest in the play and explore how magic transforms things, just like Puck transforms Bottom into a donkey.A3 - 30

With all the magic and transformation in the original Shakespeare story, there will be plenty of space for little creative minds.

I found inspiration in my old sketchbooks.IMG_20160725_113556I was wondering if we can change Bottom into something else other than a donkey?

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How about a goat?IMG_4927

Perhaps a pig?IMG_4929

Or elephant?IMG_4930

May be a cat?IMG_4931

A proper cat!IMG_4932He could change into …IMG_4933a bird! A rather strange looking birdIMG_4935and then fly away!IMG_4936So I did a lots of drawingIMG_4940 (1)and cutting and gluing.IMG_20160725_173026

It’s all ready now and I’m looking forward to next Sunday!

IMG_4934It should be exciting and fun, just like art should be.

 

The Greedy Goat

ChataThis magical place is in the Czech Republic. I go there from time to time to walk, paint and write stories.

Sometimes I’m there on my own for weeks and the only company I have are deer from the wood and a goat.kozelThe goat comes to visit from a nearby farm. Goats are usually nosey and rather naughty. This one is not different. She goes everywhere and she eats everything.

I have to chase her away from the vegetables and flowers in the garden. The goat runs away and pretends to be scared, but as soon as I turn around, the goat is back.

Scan 2As I go to this place to work and write new ideas, it wasn’t a surprise to me when a goat popped into one of my stories.

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Let’s face it, goats are funny.lada-kozaHere is a picture of a goat by Josef Lada.  He did lots of drawings of goats and they are very funny. I love Lada’s work.

Scan 4So one day I started sketching a story.

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I knew right from the beginning that a picture of a goat eating a pair of boxer shorts must be in the book.2 GI also knew, that if you do eat boxer shorts it will make you illScan 9and somebody, to whom the boxer shorts belonged would miss them.

G 11Greey_Goat11Writing the book was great fun.Greey_Goat3I was very pleased when my publisher said that it’s going to be published.skica kozyI love the moment when all the sketches and the text is finished and you can get on with the final artwork.Greey_Goat5I try to lock myself in and work and work.Greey_Goat7Working on this book was special, because I kept thinking of the real goat and of the place I love so much.Greey_Goat8I have already forgiven the goat for eating…everything.

Greey_Goat13Oh, by the way this is not the last picture in the book!

A couple of days ago a parcel arrived. It was full of freshly smelling books sent to me by my publisher!DSC_0092 (1)

I hope you will like the book.The Gready Goat

Oh, one more thing. Look what lovely pictures were sent to me from the children in Field Place Infant School in Worthing.

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The pictures were inspired by my books, which makes me very proud. Thank you for sending them to me!

And now for a bit of advertising:

The Family Literary Festival’s events at Shakespeare’s  GLOBE . Join us for a weekend of stories 29 – 31 July

The book is finished

I’ve finished all the illustrations for my latest book. It will be the fourth in the series about Little Mouse.Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 20.51.35O.k. I’m saying I’ve finished, but there is still the cover and endpapers to do, but this fact doesn’t stop me celebrating a little.IMG_4468Working on the book with the character Little Mouse was like going on a walk with an old friend. This time we walked through the wood.

IMG_4488Walking through the wood was fun

IMG_4487and a great adventure.

IMG_4490I enjoyed working on this book so much, that I did the pictures almost in one go over a couple of months.

Although some of the characters in the book may be familiar to you,  this book is rather different from the previous three in the series. It may even be a bit scary, but Little Mouse in the book is not scared of anything.

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The book is now in the post.DSC_0090This is how a finished book looks.

The last week I travelled to Worthing to do a talk in “Power of Reading in the Early Years” conference organised by Centre For Literacy in Primary Education.

The Power of Reading project is entering its 12th year and during the life of the project around 2,500 primary schools and 4,000 teachers have been involved.  This year alone they have had nearly 600 primary school teachers on projects in London and across England and are expecting to recruit the same number on the project next year. More than 1000 schools have subscribed to the Power of Reading website.

BLUE PENGUIN has been chosen as a Power of Reading text for 2016-17, so I’m very pleased about it.Blue Penguin

The conference was a good fun. I arrived in the middle of the day and I don’t know exactly what happened in the morning, but there was a great friendly atmosphere and everybody was smiling.

Just before my talk I realised, that I’m the only man in the building. It was a bit a nerve-racking, but with the first laugh I relaxed. Talking to  adults may be a bit different to talking to children, but if the adults like picture books there is no difference, really.Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 21.07.20

Thank you CLPE for inviting me!