Thursday, June 27, 2013

Reviews are in from cousin Georgie!

It's been a lovely week of reviews for me, and I want to link to two that are so nice.

 But today I want to concentrate all on the letter I got yesterday!

The most exciting post came, from my cousin and longterm reviewer, Georgie (aged 11)! Of course I was nervous about her responses - as she mentions in her letter she is a busy person! In my request letter I was, of course, respectful of that... But she's come up trumps! And glad to see she's got her priorities straight re the Morpurgo/Freeman issue.

I love these reviews so much! I very much hope that Georgie's deal about the Morpurgo books goes through, and I must say I personally think she went just about the right amount of deep in her reviews - I love them!! Thank you so much Georgie! xxx

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Toucans are for eating

My friend Cecilia sent me these lovely photos of my goddaughter Bea and her little sister Eleanor reading/eating the toucans!

Yum yum yum!

I love these pics, thank you guys!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Toucans at Kingston Library

Today I headed back to my old university stomping ground of Kingston, to do a reading of The Toucan Brothers at Kingston Library. It was organised by the very welcoming and helpful Mike Treacy, and was attended by the lovely, funny reception class from St John's Primary School in Kingston.

We talked about what being an illustrator is about, and what pictures add to books. Then I talked about how much I like drawing animals, and how important expressions are to show their characters and what they are feeling. That, and reading from the book, took up the rest of our session!

See monkey draw monkey!

Everyone had a go at pulling expressions and filling in the blank animal faces.

An excellent rendering of a surprised pig!

I am being a sad guinea pig in this picture, with plumbing outfit!

Part of the lovely display Mike Treacy made for our visit!

 All done! But still time to pose as Dennis and Gnasher on the way home!

Thank you to the really lovely reception class from St John's, to Mike Treacy, and to my friend and editor at Macmillan Children's Books, Emily Ford!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Toucans Pipesheet

Happy Friday! Here is a downloadable worksheet with Sammy and Paul, from The Toucan Brothers!

(To download: Alt-click if you are using a Mac, or right-click on a PC - this should download an A4 printable worksheet.)

 Save Maurie - help Sammy and Paul turn off the right pipe! 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Library auction

Here's a mixed media owl! Pen, pencil, collage and digital - and I found the nicest wooden frames in Muji. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Olive and the Bad Mood

I am very happy to have my second book about Olive the cat publishing this week. 

Following on from Olive and the Big Secret, here comes...

Olive is in a bad mood - today is not a good day. And look at all her friends, getting in her way! No, Olive does not want to play with Molly, she doesn't like Matt's hat and Joe is rubbish at throwing balls. 

Nothing's so good for a bad mood as passing it around. But when Olive's cheered up by some jelly worms, why are her friends suddenly so grumpy? And who's going to turn their frowns upside down?

I've loved being able to do a second book about Olive and her friends. I feel like I get to know them better and better - how they react to things, what they feel. And it was great to give them a whole new wardrobe... I quite covet Matt's clothes - his look is "Santa Fe chic" in this one. Poor old Joe only gets accessories, but he has different coloured glasses in this book! That's what you get for being born with a shell, Joe!

There is a nice review for Olive here by Katie at Storytellers, Inc.

With grateful thanks to Amelia, Amy, Daniel and of course, David and Brett.

Olive and the Bad Mood is published this week by Brubaker, Ford & Friends, an imprint of Templar Books, and by Candlewick Press in the United States.

Toucans Review

The Toucan Brothers is Kids' Book of the Month on Gransnet! I am very excited! 

Here is their lovely review. Thank you so much Gransnet!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mural Painting!

Queen Mary's Hospital in Roehampton has long been considered by my family as the best of hospitals, with great staff who give consistently fantastic care. I was born there, along with my friends Ella and Esther; my sister Jessie the persistent ankle-breaker has had wonderful care there, and in adulthood so have the rest of us.

So when they asked if I knew anyone who could do a mural in the children's dermatology suite I volunteered myself and Mum. I felt quite apprehensive in the run-up as I'm used to drawing animals thumb-sized rather than giant, but we ended up having a GREAT weekend, and think the paintings have brightened up the children's cubicle. We hope the staff at Queen Mary's will agree!

What ho! What would brighten this slightly clinical (though excellent-care-involving!) room up?

 Our brief: Do something that goes with these curtains. 

Mural Painting Team! (Mum and Tor)

Ingredients for fun.

But what shall we do first?

Let's get cracking with this parrot!

And a monkey! 

Pensive by the giraffe.

Now ecstatic!

What's that monkey doing with that banana??

End of the first day.

Back again - renewed vigour! 

Tortoise and baby.

Defining ants.

Tortoise details going on.

What has that parrot got his eye on?

We took photos of all the areas...

The banana was not a great success.

Watch out caterpillar!


Parrot hanging out with the latex gloves.

Mum's gorgeous ladybird family.

Waving not drowning.

All done - and it looks like they're waving goodbye to us!

But it's taken a toll on the exhausted muralists. Off to the pub!