Thursday, 30 March 2017

Bee and Me in Blog Round Up!

Alison Jay's wonderful Bee and Me is in the Spring 'Animal Round Up' of the fabulous MinervaReads blog! Here's a little sneak preview:

"The pictures are captivating – both in their execution and in what they’re saying. This is a wonderful way to engage young readers to get them to ‘say what they see’"

Check out the full list here

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Barbara's Feeling Beastly!

This month sees the release of this fabulously fun and feisty picture book retelling of a classic fairytale. Sumptuously illustrated by the amazing Barbara Bongini, ‘Beauty and the Very Beastly Beast’ sees the glamorous Belle leave her darling ‘Popsey’ and beloved sisters behind to live with the dreaded Beast! Barbara says of working on this quirky book:

When I was asked to illustrate the new book written by Mark Sperring I was very happy, as I knew from working on ‘Cinderella and the very Bossy Sisters’ that this too would be a special and amusing story!
In this version the Beast is a big and tender creature and so I needed to make him very expressive and concentrated my attention on his eyes, that had to be full of emotion!

Barbara chose to depict these unique characters in 1930s setting and costume, beautifully complimenting the P.G. Wodehouse-style humour of the text and creating a truly wonderful backdrop to each humour filled scene! We think you will agree with Belle that, even when the beast is being beastly, it would be impossible to resist those huge sad eyes! 

Giovanni Abeille has Too Many Dragons!

Can you really have too much of a good thing? Two children discover that when that good thing is dragons, then probably the answer is yes! Giovanni Abeille’s stunningly beautiful work for Cricket Media’s short story ‘Too Many Dragons’ appears in the this month’s edition of SPIDER Magazine. With a subtle and sublime colour palate and striking use of texture and depth, these illustrations are sure to make this story a firm favourite with their young readers! 

Giovanni, who studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts of Naples, demonstrates his exceptional skills in characterisation in these pieces -  beautifully capturing Skoki’s deep longing for the little brown creature she has only read about in books - the Stink Bug! From tiny dragons entangled in her hair to huge dragons nesting on top of her family’s garage, Skoki’s frustration with her densely populated imaginary world can be clearly felt!  We can’t help feeling however, that Skoki should be careful what she wishes for next!!

Steve Horrocks' Nightmare Neighbours!

Keesha and Nick have two big problems: 1. Their favourite park might be closing and 2. Monsters have moved in next door! Steve Horrocks’ visually stunning work for the 'Oxford Reading Tree All Stars' fiction series combines his trademark hilarious and lovable characters with a hugely imaginative story of friendship and acceptance!
Steve’s bold and humorous style is perfectly suited to this popular series which aims to use the most engaging illustration to aid understanding and spark a lifelong love of reading! It has certainly inspired us to grab a copy - get yours here!

Ella's Creature Feature!

Have you ever met a Psammead? When 5 siblings start exploring a gravel pit not far from their new home, they discover an incredible creature who has eyes like a snail, ears like a bat and the body of a spider, and is very bad tempered indeed! This new edition from Alma Books of the much loved classic tale is Illustrated by the wonderful Ella Okstad whose enchanting, playful and expressive style brings the unexpected and catastrophic consequences of the children’s wishes for beauty, wings and wealth vividly to life!

Ella’s work, filled with its hallmark movement and energy, perfectly compliments this action packed tale and leaves us asking the question: persuading an extremely grumpy sand fairy to grant your wish - what could possibly go wrong?!! Find out here!

Gareth Lucas' Prehistoric Puzzles!

Not content with the hugely successful Look and Find Zoo last month, the wonderfully talented and prolific Gareth Lucas has yet another spectacular book of beasties to spot, count and identify out this month! This latest gem from Usborne Publishing's ‘Look and Find’ sees Gareth tackling T-Rexs and Triceratops, Stegosaurus and Styracosaurs, all with his usual exquisite attention to detail and infused with wonderfully subtle humour. Exploding with creativity and colour, get your copy here - It’s dino-mite!!! 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Vince Reid's Cool Clubhouse Cover!

Out this month with an awesome cover by the very talented Vince Reid, 'The Clubhouse Mystery' is the first fabulous adventure in the 'Cass and the Bubble Street Gang' series from The O'Brien Press!
After the annoying baby twins demolish the fort Cass has built in the sitting room, she has the great idea of building a proper fort outdoors that can be the Bubble Street Gang's clubhouse! Everything is going according to plan until they realise someone is using the clubhouse when they're not there!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Free Beastly Activity Sheets!

These gorgeous activity sheets have been produced by Scholastic UK using Barbara's wonderful illustrations to promote the release of 'Beauty and the Very Beastly Beast'! Written by Mark Sperring, with whom Barbara previously worked on ‘Cinderella and her very Bossy Sisters’, this month's release sees Belle take on maybe more than she bargained for when she moves in with the sloppy, scary and irritable beast!
To download your very own copy of these fun activity sheets, click here

Shout 'Ye-Ha' With Alison Jay!

Alison's Jay's wonderful cowboy themed images adorn the cover of this month's issue of Cricket Magazine and make us all want to shout 'Ye-Ha!
Perfect for imaginative readers aged from 9 to 14, Cricket Media's CRICKET Magazine has delighted and entertained generations of kids with contemporary stories and classic literature from the world’s best writers. Paired with illustrations so beautiful they take your breath away, these fabulously atmospheric vistas of Alison's are set to be a runaway success!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Barefoot Book of Children Makes a World of Difference!

Check out this wonderful interview about David Dean's groundbreaking Barefoot Book of Children in collaboration with Barefoot Books​! 

They say of David's contribution:

"Much of the work of ensuring accuracy fell to the illustrator, David Dean. David went to great trouble to research a wide range of scenes from different cultures and countries."

Emily Emerson's Illustrator Saturday Interview!

If you fancy cuteness overload as your #TuesdayTreat then check out Writing and Illustrating's Illustrator Saturday feature interview with the amazingly talented Emily Emerson! To see more of Emily's adorable work, click here

Ella and Nelly Tick all the Boxes!

Check out this wonderful review of Nelly and the Quest for Captain Peabody illustrated by the fabulous Ella Oksatd! Here's just a snippet to whet your appetite!

"I’m always on the lookout for new stories for younger readers where the female protagonist has an adventure. Nelly and the Quest for Captain Peabody, by Roland Chambers and with enchanting illustrations by Ella Okstad, is the first in a new series for the 7-9 age group (though I suggest that it would appeal right through to upper primary years), and my goodness does it tick that box!"

Thursday, 16 March 2017

A Prize Piece from Gareth Lucas!

The lovely winner of our last monthly draw has sent us this fab photo of her prize!! Ruth chose to have a mug emblazoned with this gorgeous deep sea illustration by Gareth Lucas for Usborne Publishing! You can order this wonderful book here

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Richard Johnson's Beautiful work for Benziger!

Richard Johnson has once again produced some truly stunning imagery for the covers of RCL Benziger's new Christian educational program of books for the 'Blest Are We' series! Featuring many of the Bible's most recognisable stories Richard's magical work is the perfect accompaniment!

Emily's Page Turning Patterns!

We are so excited to let you know that these adorably playful designs from Emily Emerson have been chosen for the latest issue of Uppercase Magazine's ‘Surface Pattern Design Guide’! The quarterly print magazine inspired by craft, design and illustration seeks out unique design with incredible attention to detail so we can see why they chose Emily’s characteristically cute and intricate patterns to adorn their pages!
Her whimsical, joyful art is created in her sunny Kansas studio and throughout her work you will find cute animals, bright colours, cheerful patterns and a fondness for the beauty of nature. Emily has previously worked creating enchanting characters for children’s publishing, lively patterns for fabric, apparel, stationery, home decor and much more and will bring her unique and magical touch to any project!

Guess who's back? Nelly's back!

After the huge success of ‘The Quest for Captain Peabody’, Ronald Chambers and Ella Okstad’s crazy creation - Nelly Peabody - is back, and this time the tenacious tike and her faithful turtle investigate the mysterious disappearance of her mother! Nelly’s adventure is packed with eccentric characters stunningly brought to life by Ella’s beautifully bold signature two-colour style. Loose yourself in her humour-filled scenes as you climb with Nelly and Columbus to the tops of the clouds in a laundry basket and dive to the murky depths of the ocean in an oversized tin can!
Nelly’s resourceful and courageous nature is perfectly complimented by Ella’s distinct and quirky style, and her love of creating characters full of personality and mischief certainly shines through in this gorgeous book! We challenge you not to fall in love with Nelly and Columbus when it comes out this month! Get your copy here

Merce in Demand!

As if last month’s award for ‘Living with Hilda’ was not enough, the fabulously talented Merce Canals’ work has now been selected to represent Catalonia and the Balearic Islands as Guests of Honour at this years Bologna Children’s Book Fair!
Her fun and funky modern and eye-catching style, combined with her experience in working on pop-up books is already going down really well with our clients worldwide - check out her lovely portfolio on our site!

As Merce’s agent we will be attending the fair too, so see you there!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Brrrrrrrrrr Baby Bear!

Baby Bear doesn't like the water, it's cold, wet and gets up his nose!
 Follow him on his journey of discovery as he learns to conquer his fears and swim like the big bears!
Lovingly illustrated by Richard Johnson for McGraw-Hill Education, 'Don't Give up Baby Bear' is a tale of perseverance and determination that teaches children to learn new skills at their own pace.
I think we are a bit in love with baby bear - how about you?

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Gareth's Marvellous Menagerie!

Sumptuously illustrated by Gareth Lucas, ‘Look and Find Zoo’ from Usborne Publishing is bursting with aardvarks and zebras, camels and dolphins all to spot, match and count! Each page is a delightfully detailed menagerie featuring a cast of sleeping tigers, slithering snakes, scuttling bugs even turtles wearing hats! Gareth’s distinctively intricate and playful style is a true feast for the eyes making it obvious why he has been commissioned to produce all of the hugely popular ’Look and Find’ series so far!
Look out for prehistoric pranks galore when 'Look and Find Dinosaurs’ comes out soon too! In the meantime, we challenge you not to lose yourself in his crazy, fabulous technicolour world!! Get your copy here!

Pretty Painting Palaces with Barbara Bongini!

Each gorgeous page of the latest of Usborne’s Magic Painting Books to be illustrated by the fabulously talented Barbara, features a different black and white illustration of a fantastical abode! Watch as Barbara Bongini’s fabulous fairy palaces magically burst into colour with a wondrous stained-glass effect in this delightful activity book! Barbara’s keen attention to detail shines through in every pillar, portico, turret and tracery whilst incorporating deliciously sweet and soft finishing touches of winding ivy, fluttering birds and of course, the adorable fairies themselves! So sit back, close your eyes and enjoy dreaming of your own magical fairy palace! Get your copy now!