World of Books in Prague

5_Výstaviště-Praha

I was in Prague at the book festival ‘Svet Knihy’ last week. I did a talk and book signing at the festival. The sun was shining and people caring books were smiling, and they were everywhere.

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I was invited to the festival by Jitka Netusilova who runs an internet shop ‘anglictina hry.cz’  selling English picture books and games for children who speak or are learning to speak English. Jitka  is a friend and has been promoting and selling my books for a long time now.31631859_1760875740673596_1875213950140809216_o

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Once I was in my home city I thought I would make a little holiday out of it, so I stayed for a couple of days.

FINAL _ TEXT-01But I had also a book to promote. It’s only recently that ‘Dlouhá cesta’ (The Long Journey) was published in the Czech Republic. ‘Dlouhá cesta’ is my very first book written in Czech and published by a Czech publisher – ‘pinwheels’.

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So as a result of this I spent most of the mornings going around schools and nurseries talking to children and drawing a lot. It was fun, we laughed a lot and I met lots of nice friendly people as well.ehavlickova_2018-05-16_13-22-40-1

When I got back I had a couple of nice emails telling me how much children enjoyed the talks and how they felt inspired. I was sent some pictures to prove it.ehavlickova_2018-05-16_13-25-43-1

These pictures are from children who attend ‘TIP TOES primary school’ in Brandys. It was a nice morning and apart from picture books we talk about collage, wax crayons and watercolour painting as you can see.

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I have more schools and festivals to visit before the summer, but I’m looking forward to it!

 

More Board Books

Who is Sleeping?‘Who is Sleeping?’ and ‘Who is the Biggest?’ are my two new board books.

Who is Biggest?

I have been making board books from the beginning of my career as an author nad illustrator. ‘Strawberries are Red’ and ‘What is Black and White?’ were my very first books to be published and they are still in print after seventeen years.  A-Board-books

I love making board books and I am lucky to be published by Walker Books who know how to make good board books.

I was once comparing writing a picture book to writing a novel. If a picture book would be like writing a novel, then board book would be like writing a poem.

Which one is easier?

6In my board books I like to introduce a basic story, visual joke, a message. I often shape pages, use ‘lift the flaps’,  holes and cut outs in the pages.

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When I am working on a picture book I very soon slip into my own world, where it is me, who has to be happy with the story and the pictures. When I am working on a board book it is different. I think about the child the whole time from designing the book to illustrating the pictures.

Who is Biggest?

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IMG_0222IMG_0221IMG_0224IMG_0225I like watching a child looking at new things, learning, discovering the world. It is fascinating to see how a child never rests and is learning all the time.

Who is Sleeping?

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It is important to realise that by giving a child a board book we are introducing him not to a toy, but to literature and visual art. A board book is often a child’s very  first contact with art and literature.

This is why I think that good quality board books are so important.  Children are investigative and clever and they deserve more than just random colourful images. The board book should have a story.