Travelling With a Book

Over the last few months I’ve been working on and off on my new book “Dlouhá Cesta” (The Long Journey).o cover

Although I’m Czech and I’ve written and illustrated over 35 books, I’ve only had a couple of books published in the Czech Republic. I don’t know exactly why my books are not published in the Czech Republic, but I would like to do something about it.

I can’t make deals with other publishers about my existing books, but I had an idea.

A year ago I met a couple of enthusiasts in Prague who like my books and I like their enthusiasm, so we decided to do something together. We’ve decided to do a book together.


This book is going to be published in Czech in the Czech Republic.

The story is about a garden gnome. 18He looked like any other garden gnome, but he had a desire to walk. He walked through the garden, through the gate, over the field, into the wood, he climbed a hill and went down the mountains.
6 TrpHe visited many places and everywhere he went he planted a little plant. The place become a better place, or at least a bit nicer. There is more to it but the rest of the story is in pictures.9 Trp

I travelled to Prague to deliver the book last week. It was quite special.

10 Trp

I had a really nice time illustrating it and now it was the time to give it away.13 Trp

I hope all goes well.

The book should be ready for Christmas.12 Trp

Painted Puffin

12 TrpI’m in the middle of illustrating a book and I was planning to write about it. However I’ve changed my plans, because this week was strangely about Puffin Peter.

Puffin Peter
I was getting ready for visiting Canterbury Nursery School in Bradford. The nursery asked me to mention and perhaps do a workshop about ” Puffin Peter”.


I like the character Puffin Peter, so I was up for it. Then I got another email from a school I’m going to next month and that, funnily enough, also wanted Puffin Peter.

Well, I’ve decided to paint a couple of puffins, bring them to schools and making big pictures with children.

My only worry was, that children at the nursery may be too little to paint and draw and help me to finish the painting. How wrong was I.

Just as I was about to leave the house, I had an email from Sekolah Ciputra in Surabaya, East Java in Indonesia.
puffin picture for Mr Petr
How exciting! The children were writing to me about how much they enjoyed reading …..PUFFIN PETER! The email was really nice and attached were all these beautiful pictures of puffins done by the children. It really cheered me up.

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Thank you to all the children in the kindergarten at Sekolah Ciputrafor sending me all these BEAUTIFUL paintings! I was also asked if I can share them around, so I’m doing so.

I’m now back from Bradford and it was a really busy and also lovely day. I saw lots of very little children. 200 to be specific. Some of the children were only two years old, but most of them three or four. I did six talks and two workshops.

We painted a picture with Puffin Peter.

This is how I started. The puffin looked lonely, so I asked the children to draw some fish.

IMG_0219And they did. This is the finished picture. Pretty good, don’t you think?

IMG_0222It was a lovely day in Canterbury Nursery School in Bradford. I met lots of nice teachers and a caring headmistress. Somehow, she managed to buy and give a book to every child! Can you guess what book it was? That’s right, Puffin Peter.

FCBG and painting

It has been a busy, but also fun couple of weeks. Last weekend Nicola Davies and I were invited to the  The Federation of Children’s Book Groups conference

It was so nice to see so many familiar faces. People I know and people I’ve met over the years. They all have one thing in common – they all love books.

We had a lovely evening , we talked books and we laughed a lot. I found the whole weekend incredibly inspiring.

On Sunday Nicola and I did the the last talk at the conference. We talked each about writing our books and finished talking about “A First Book of Animals”. C8-APJrXkAMIBggHere I am rolling up my sleeves, as when Nicola’s talking I’m painting.

Here I must mention very exciting news. “A First Book of Animals” was shortlisted for the  School Library Association’s  INFORMATION BOOK AWARD 2017 !

..and The English Association’s 2017 ENGLISH 4-11 PICTURE BOOK AWARD !

A First Book of Animals

I always enjoy events with Nicola and this one wasn’t different. The atmosphere was great and listening Nicola reading from some of her books was a real treat.

C9CtcF-XoAAAQLwWe managed to do quick campaigning as well. When you’re at a place like this and when you talk to people who are absolutely devoted and work so hard to promote books, literature and reading for children, it’s incredibly upsetting to hear that some other people are making similar efforts to close libraries.

I also started working on a book which was on my table for too long. It’s called “A Long Journey”.2 Trp 2The book is about a garden gnome, who decided one day that what he really needs is to go for a walk.7 TrpFor a very……6 TrpVERY LONG  walk.

I was looking forward to doing this book for so long. I’m having a great time working on it now.

2 Trp

Printing the birds was a bit”fiddly”, but good fun.

8 Trp 2

That is all for now. More about the Garden Gnome next time.