It’s never over until the fat lady sings…

So here’s a thing; three weeks after delivering the final a/w for HUGLESS DOUGLAS GOES TO LITTLE SCHOOL, the early proofs are back and the considered opinion (myself included), is that the story isn’t reading as smoothly as it should be. So, for the first time in my 20 years in publishing, I have *reopened the file* and am replacing two spreads…with these.

Ah well, better get on, under 3 weeks before my summer break…

D6 sp1D6 sp2

 

Summer doodles & Funny Bunnies

A quick update, sorry I haven’t posted for a while (I wonder how many blogs start that way). It’s certainly been a busy time. Last week I finally delivered a/w for the new title HUGLESS DOUGLAS GOES TO LITTLE SCHOOL, which will eventually be published Spring 2015.

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Since then I’ve had year another wee knee operation (that’s four since Jan 2012, but who’s counting). Still, on the bright side, I’ve been working from home, which means I get to sit in the sunny garden and draw silly pictures for the forthcoming series I’m working on with wonderful author Vivian French.

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And while I’m at it, a big thank you to my publisher Hodder Children’s Books for their Congratulations on Publication Day! Today, the two FUNNY BUNNIES board books are available…

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A spread form FUNNY BUNNIES RAIN OR SHINE (a board book of weather)…

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A spread from FUNNY BUNNIES Up and Down (a board book of opposites)…

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Welcome back Miss Moo-Hoo!

I’ve been looking for a new character to join the Hugless Douglas cast and, after a few wrong turns, it occurred to me to revisit someone who just fits the bill; Miss Moo-Hoo. She was the perfect teacher in the picture book Two by Two and a half…so why not again?

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Here she is, the original colour sample I did back in 2007, alongside today’s pencil sketch. It’s nice to be reacquainted. I’m sure she’ll do a fine job in her new post. Time will tell…and in a few weeks, so will this blog…

READ-a-THON success!

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Despite the weather’s best efforts the rain held off to help make Oxfordshire’s Read-a-thon a great success. Hundreds came throughout the day to take part in the many activities that were laid on. There was storybook-character-spotting, Gruffalo walks (in the woods), Mad hatter’s tea parties, pony rides and so much more (see previous post). The children had a great time hugging Douglas as well as being entertained by the wonderfully engaging poet John Foster and author Alan Gibbons (above left and right of me respectively), I hadn’t met either before so it was a real pleasure to sit in on their events and see just what makes them so popular with the children…and adults for that matter).

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The READ-a-THON took place in and around the grounds of Milton Manor House.

But for me, the real star of the day was local primary school teacher and good friend Anne Wattam, the brain-child behind the day. Initially inspired by Boris Johnson’s London Read-a-thon earlier in the summer, Anne built on the idea to develop this incredible day, specifically designed to celebrate the wonderful world of stories and reading. She wasn’t alone, of course, her incredible family as well as an impressive support cast from the local community and schools (not forgetting authors John Foster, Alan Gibbons and fantastic illustrator Charlie Sutcliffe).

Unfortunately, it only occurs to me now, I didn’t seek permission to post some of the fabulous photos documenting the day (all of them were filled with happy smiling families), so all I can do to finish off is end-of-day picture of the Frankenstein outfit whose owner apparently dissolved…

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It was truly a fantastic day but I know how he felt, by the time I got home I was shattered. Thanks to everyone who helped make it such a huge success, not forgetting the friends and families who pitched up on the day.

 

 

You can read what Alan Gibbons thought of the day here.