The Shortlisted Book

As an author and illustrator I spend lots of time on my own with pencils and brushes. I like it this way, but sometimes you need somebody to come and say: ” Hey, I quite like what you’re doing”.

Being listed for an award is that moment. It’s nice to know that there is someone who knows your work and even likes it.a first book of animals

I am very excited and happy that ‘A First Book of Animals’, the book I did with Nicola Davies is shortlisted for CILIP The Kate Greenaway Medal.AFBOA2
I am very excited, because I know how much work was behind the book.

I am not talking about my illustrations, because although I did spend lots of time painting and drawing, I enjoyed every minute of it and it was just a long lasting joy. I am talking about the amazing, inspirational text done by Nicola Davies and the hard work of editors and designers, mainly Caroline Royds and Louise Jackson.work
It would be naive to think that any good book can happen without a team of hard working enthusiasts and a good publisher.

It’s no coincidence that Walker Books has three out of seven books shortlisted for The Kate Greenaway Medal and two out of eight books for The Carnegie Medal this year.AFBOA44
Nicola Davies had four of her books long listed and she has now two of her books shortlisted for The Kate Greenaway medal!

Everybody who knows Nicola’s books would agree, that she is a very talented and inspirational writer and everybody who likes books would know, that a perfect picture book or nonfiction book is based on the perfect balance of the text and the illustrations.

Without Nicola’s poems there would not be “A First Book of Animals”.

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Thank you to CILIP for their hard work and for putting these awards together and mainly thank you to the good enthusiastic librarians who make these books visible and deliver them into the right hands of our readers. Slide1

 

 

Taking books to schools

We’ve  already had World Book Day, but for many authors and illustrators World Book Day starts early and finishes later. I’ve recently had a nice couple of weeks going around schools in England.

I visited a number of schools and I always felt welcome and had a good time. My experience is, that the schools which invite authors to visit are usually nice schools.

Inviting an author to school is not about celebrating the authors, it is about getting children inspired. Having the opportunity to meet  somebody who writes, or illustrates books the children will understand that authors are ordinary people who work and do a  job they like. Not dissimilar to what many of their parents do and that anybody can write and be creative. These children then become authors and artists themselves for at least a couple of days.

I would like to mention all the schools, the nice teachers and librarians I met over the last few weeks, but it would be impossible.  For all of them I will mention Ryefield Primary School in Uxbridge.

The Headteacher Colin Tucker drove me through snow and blizzard to his school, which remained open even when other schools in the country were closed. The school was full of excited children ready to have fun, listen to stories, learning about writing, illustrating and getting their hands dirty.IMG_0060

At the reception I was welcomed by Blue Penguin made of potato. I knew immediately that I am in the right place. The children knew my books and many of them had already written their own stories inspired by some of them. Children from the Reception class even performed ‘Silly Suzy Goose’ for me! I was truly honoured.spread copy

Imogen Elliot did this cover for her story called ‘Mice Can’t Dance’. The story is about a mouse who proved, that actually mice can dance when they overcome some obstacles. The mouse had a lovely name – Luna. I love the story.blue penguinAnnabelle Roberts did this copy of an illustration from my book Blue Penguin. Isn’t it amazing?Blue_Penguin_8

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I got lots of pictures and sketches of characters for my new books.spread 3Some of the ideas were real poetry. I love this drawing and description.spread

This is another present for me. The poem by Raquel from Year 6. and it is so lovely that I have to share it. She also added drawings inspired by  ’A First Book of Animals’ that I illustrated for Nicola Davies.

IMG_0066Later in the day we did some painting and created new characters and made a big picture for the school hall.IMG_0064Working with children and meeting everybody at Ryefield School made my day. Thank you very much for making me so welcome.

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