The Fly and the window in Dublin.

image3Two exciting things happened recently. The first one is the publication of my book “The Fly” in U.S.A.


The Fly is a book I had published 2010. It took me a couple of years to persuade my publisher to do a book about a fly. The publisher’s argument was, that people don’t like flies; therefore they will not buy the book. It’s true and this is the way the market works.

Paradoxically that’s also what the book is about. About how difficult it is to be a fly.

5I like the book. It was really fun to work on it and whenever I do a public reading this book gets most laughter.

The book is now officially out in America and so far has very a good response. It makes me happy.

petr horacek

Here is one of the pictures of the fly which was given to me by a young enthusiast.


The other exciting thing was my trip to Dublin. Going to Dublin, from where I live, takes only a couple of hours, but I had never been there before. I had no idea how much I’d been missing!

Dublin is amazing, so trendy, and full of lovely people, a great atmosphere and lots to see.

I was there to take part in Dublin Literary Festival. I did three talks and three workshops. It all went pretty well. “The Ark”, the place where most of the children’s events took place is a brilliant place. Perfect for shows, talks and workshops.

The whole festival was very well organised.

It wasn’t just work. Together with fellow authors, we were well looked after and taken around Dublin.

I managed to see Chris Haughton’s talk, which was really good fun and his illustrations on the big screen looked amazing!


I Went to Nicola Davies‘ talk. Nicola knows so much about animals that you could listen to her for the whole day. A real treat.


And I also saw the brilliant Gary Northfield in action. He ran on to the stage dressed as Julius Zebra and I laughed a lot. Unfortunately soon I had to also run, because I had one more event to do, but next time when Gary is a Zebra, I go again!


I was asked to decorate a shop window in one of the best bookshops I’ve been to recently. The Hodges Figgis bookshop in central Dublin.image5

The shop is big and incredibly busy. I was signing books for stock on Saturday afternoon and couldn’t believe when I saw a long queue of people trying to quickly buy a book just before the shop closed for the night. People in Dublin do like books a lot!


IMG_0992My installation was about my latest picture book “The Mouse Who Ate the Moon”.

And the last information is……. I’m going to be in this exhibition!



ExhibitionMore about it later, but mark the date in the calendar if you can!


Talking about books

FullSizeRenderTwo school visits this week. I was in the lovely Portway Infant School in Andover. In fact it was my second visit there in two years, so it was like coming home. Lovely teachers and nice children. We made a picture with flying animals. It was a busy, but a great day!


On Thursday I went to Rowan Prep School in Claygate in Surrey. Another nice school where I was once before. Rowan Prep School is a girls’ school and they invited children from a couple of neighbouring schools to join us. It was a nice day. Hot dogs and ice cream were served and we all made little picture books about puffins.FullSizeRender_2

I love the whale in this book …IMG_0579 and this one.IMG_0577 This cat is black and white, just like Paul, but she is not a puffin.

I just came home from SWINDON FESTIVAL OF LITERATUREI did an event in Lower Shaw Farm and was welcomed there by nice man Mat Holland who has been running the festival for twenty two years.

The place has a great atmosphere and people who come to such events make a wonderful audience. I went to see the puppet show “Three Billy Pigs” by fabulous Noisy Oyster.IMG_0583I enjoyed the show very much and so did everybody who was there.noisy oisterA good end to the weekend.

Next time I’ll be at the International Literature Festival in Dublin. The list of events is huge. I’m going to be in Dublin from Friday to Monday. I’ve never been before, so I’m very excited!



Nice Post

I got nice post this weekend. An advance copy of my new book.the mouse who reached the sky      “The Mouse Who Reached the Sky” is coming out soon!

Last week I went to King’s Oak Primary Learning Centre in Barnsley. Nice day in the nice school. Children worked very hard and did great pictures. I got lots of drawings to take home.IMG_0856I love this one. It’s me getting ready to demonstrate how to mix colours. The proportion of me to the children is accurate.

IMG_0855I forgot to ask what this picture is about, but I like it all the same.

IMG_0854Another master piece. This drawing reminds me of drawings by Rodger Hilton.

IMG_0853My favourite is this picture. It’s me fishing from the moon. I don’t know where the idea came from, but it’s rather poetic.

For the rest of the week I was working on my new book “Greedy Goat”.skica kozy

Sketching and developing the character.IMG_0868I’m enjoying it so much!IMG_0872This is my favourite stage of making a book.

IMG_0894 I will need to spend more time drawing the farmer and his wife.

Well, that is it for this week…oh yes, one more tiger from Barnsley.IMG_0857

Rabbit in Chipping Norton window

I’m back from my travelling. As I wrote last week, I spent a nice couple of days in Munich International School.


Then I took a  train to Prague, the city I was born in. I love walking through sunny Prague. It was the 80th birthday of one of my favourite artists and illustrators Jiri Šalamoun.
I went to see an exhibition of his prints. I could easily spend a whole day looking at his work.
Jiri SalamounI’m back now getting everything ready to start working on my next picture book about a greedy goat.
I looked at my sketchbooks for sketches of a goat.




96These are the pictures I found.


A goat in the tent.IMG_8009 copy



Lady s kozouOne rather strange goat.
koza a stin Goat and the shadow.
At the weekend I was at Chipping Norton Literary Festival.
On Saturday I decorated the shop window in Jaffe and Neal, the independent book shop. It’s a great bookshop and cafe run by very nice people.
Chpping Norton This is the finished window. It was fun. Thank you Steve Strong from Walker Books for all your hard work and helping me get everything ready for the display!

I stayed until Sunday when I did a talk and reading in the local library.
The festival was great, very well organised. Everybody I met was so friendly and the whole festival had a great atmosphere. Good fun.
Thank you for having me!


A bit of travelling

I was in Germany for a couple of days, visiting Munich International School.

The school is in a small beautiful town Starnberg.

From my window I could see a beautiful view with a lake and snowy mountings on the horizon. I met lots of very nice people there and very enthusiastic children, who made great art like the drawing of a rainbow and elephant below. I was looked after by the school librarian Isabel. Thank you for making me so welcome! FullSizeRender

I’m now in Prague, having a little break. I think I need it. I was quite busy recently, working on a big book full of animals.

I love illustrating this book. Each page is individual and it’s giving me an opportunity to try different drawing materials and techniques. I’m having a great time, but I also think it’s good to have a break, otherwise I wouldn’t know if I’m painting a cow, a zebra or a goat.

stracenaTalking about goats…just as I was leaving for Germany I had good news. My latest picture book was contracted!

Yes, it will be a book about a goat.Scan 1

I’ll be coming back this week and on Saturday I’ll be going to Chipping Norton. It’s Chipping Norton Literary Festival and I’ll be there!

On Saturday between 14:00 and 16:00 o’clock I’ll be decorating the window in “Jaffe & Neale” .  It’s a lovely bookshop and cafe and I know it quite well. I’ve been there a couple of times before as a costumer.

So I’ll be making a window display for the bookshop and I had an idea that if anybody comes to say “hello” I will draw them a picture. I mustn’t forgot a sketchbook!

This is an  idea of how I would like to decorate the window.Bookshop window copy

Then on Sunday I’ll be doing a talk for children their parents and anybody who loves picture books. I’ll be showing lots of pictures and read some of my books, so if you have time, please do come!


Coral and a Speaking Tiger

Next week I’m off to Germany to visit Munich International School. Munich is a great city with amazing galleries. I may not have enough time to run around, but I’m looking forward to my trip anyway. I’ll also pop in to Prague for a couple of days, since it’s “just around the corner”.

Knowing that I won’t be in my studio for a while, I’ve been working hard on the book. I’ve been painting mostly underwater scenes, starting with coral.corals

I’ve finished a picture with seahorses too. It’s the male seahorse who gives birth, did you know that?seahorseLast week I also mentioned that I’ll paint blue whales. Here are two versions of them.Whale 1

Whale 2A picture of  jellyfish seems easy, but I had to paint them a couple of times.

jelly fishClownfish.clownfish 1 copyOh yes, I also did a picture of a cheetah chasing an antelope.

cheetahI’ve already finished the tiger.IMG_0700I looked at my little sketchbooks for related sketches of tigers. here are some.83

Swimming with a tiger.84

And the talking tiger at the end.