Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Dynamic Duo's Delightful Debut!

We are thrilled this month to be able to give you a little sneaky peek at a couple of gorgeous spreads for Chantelle and Burgen Thorne’s upcoming release with Jacana Media! When Storm holds her stone and sings, everyone in the village stops to listen, but when she is tempted to sing songs that can control the wind, waves and the entire ocean, things start to go wrong! The pair say of their first commission for Jacana:

“Our brief for ’The Singing Stone’ was to make the art realistic, and we've done a very painterly style using lots of delicious textures, particularly in the sea and sky which make up large parts of the book.”

We can’t wait to show you more of this enchanting book when it is released next month!

Vince's Classic Covers!

As they say, the old ‘uns are the best ’uns, and Vince Reid has certainly been kept busy creating these fabulous covers for the first of Arcturus’ brand new series of illustrated classics! Retold and adapted for younger readers, these stunning little books certainly pack a punch, boasting bright bold covers and beneath bursting with black and white belters that are sure to gain these well-loved tales a whole new audience of fans! In the first instalment, tear up the road with a truculent toad, survive a shipwreck on the south seas, track down treasure and sally a snowy sled - all without leaving the comfort of your armchair! Out next month!

Alison's Plea for the Bees!

There was an buzz around Bradford University this month as local school children gathered for a magical day of bee related talks organised by the Bradford Literature Festival and starring our very own Alison Jay! This event was a marriage made in heaven - The University of Bradford being as passionate about bee conservation as ‘Bee and Me’ creator Alison, installing two working hives on its campus and training three members of its staff as bee keepers! Alison’s exquisite picture book about a little girl who befriends a bee was the focus of the event that was intended to show the children the vital role these endangered little honey-makers play in every aspect of our ecosystem. Get your very own copy of this bee-witching book here.

Richard Merritt Gets the Goat!

Follow three intrepid friends as they bravely strike out for greener grass in Richard’s first ‘Read-Aloud Story to Share’ for Pat-a-Cake books! Trotting up fast behind his hugely successful ‘Peek and Play Rhymes’ series, The Three Billygoats Gruff features a vibrant visual glossary to introduce new vocabulary and of course, all those cheeky little additions we have all come to expect from Richard’s gorgeous work! As if that wasn’t enough, there are even some playful little bonus activities at the end of the story - can you help the goats find a way through the maze without encountering the grumpy green troll or spot the differences in a peaceful pasture scene? Hoof it on down to your nearest bookshop on 12th July for your very own copy - you’ve goat to be mad to miss it! Get your copy here.

Spotlight on.... Hannah McCaffery!

This month we are taking a look at the lovely new style of work that Hannah McCaffery has been working on. Having mastered the the art of traditional painting techniques, Hannah has taken those skills and applied them to the digital medium - with fantastic results! Her work has been given a new lease of life and is already sparking interest in the publishing world! If you'd like to commission Hannah, drop us a line, we'd be happy to help!

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Viva la Vertical!

This week we are launching ourselves headfirst into Instagram's new IGTV feature! Check out our first tentative foray into the world of vertical video here!

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

David Dean's Musical Masterpiece!

The only 3 things Elvis Crampton Lucas knows of his past is that he was found on a bench at the zoo, that his now father took him home in a Stetson hat and that he named him after the first three vinyl records he picked off his shelf! David’s distinct and dynamic cover, punctuated by the twisting path of a vivid red audio wire, beautifully intimates the long and eventful journey that Elvis will have to make, against the emotional backdrop of classic tunes and his own experimental compositions, to finally discover the truth about his past….

This touching coming of age tale comes out to play on 5th July from Faber and Faber! Get it here.

3 x 3 Magazine Comp Winners!

Huge congratulations are in order this month for the wonderful Shane McGowan, David Dean and Richard Johnson who all scooped up awards at the 3x3 Magazine International Illustration Show! David had three pieces selected for 3x3 Magazine's Illustration Annual 15 - a Bronze Medal for "The Land of Neverendings" and a Distinguished Merit for "The Children of Castle Rock" (both in the Picture Book Show) and a Merit for "Tess of the D'urbervilles" (in the Professional Show). The superb Picture book ‘Once upon a Snowstorm’, also shortlisted for this year’s World Illustration Awards, a political piece about children being forced to flee oppressive regimes entitled ‘Migration - Free as a Bird’ and ‘Spirit of Competition - Tokyo 2020’ - a new artistic and cultural response to the Olympic Games all scooped Merits for Richard while Shane, whose adorable series of images featuring a feisty little mouse called Bronwyn, won a well-deserved Merit! Phew! What a talented bunch!

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Livia's Language Laughs!

In the Country of ‘Backward Words’ you cannot escape until, among other things, you help a hoopoe find his life-buoy! Aiurea-n Tramvai (Going Nowhere in a Tram) is an exquisite and unusual little book illustrated by Romanian native Livia Coloji exploring the amusing idioms of her mother tongue! Livia’s comical characters act out absurd scenarios amidst dream-like landscapes, giving the whole book a compellingly surreal quality. Lose your self in a land of language - just remember you have to see a flying pig before you can get home! 

Out on the 28th June from Curtea Vache!

What's Bugging Gareth Lucas?

If you are a lover of all things creepy and crawly then we have the perfect book for you! A dazzlingly illustrated puzzle book teeming with all kinds of creatures to spot, count and match is Gareth’s latest collaboration with Usborne for their bestselling ‘Look and Find’ series. Simply bursting with eye-catching challenges - can you spot a bee on a bicycle? A butterfly tapping a tambourine? The wonderfully intricate insect illustrations make these seemingly simple puzzles a lot harder than you might think! ‘Look and Find Bugs’ -  scuttling to a bookshop near you this month! Find it here.