Tuesday, 27 February 2007

The cover for Russell's Christmas Magic; finished...again!

I've just finished, finally, once again, the cover for 'Russell's Christmas Magic'. The third picture book in the Russell series. The mission to complete the cover has proven to be a Groundhog day experience. I've designed four or five different covers so far, which have been scrutinised by...the whole world...Design the cover...all seems well....the day moves forward with smiling faces all round....everyone loves the cover....marvellous...great...BUT!!! ...one thing!...we've spoken to...could you just...you know...change the design...deja-vu...Groundhog Day!! Gotta say though, I really like the last one. Here' a sample page of the art from Russell's Christmas Magic', and a segment of the storyboard.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Red House Book Award children's event

On Saturday we took Russell to the land of the White Horses - Wiltshire of course, and St Michaels School main Hall in Aldbourne to be precise. This was a thankyou event for the children who judged the Red House Book Award last year and It was an opportunity for the kids to meet the Authors and Illustrators of their favourite books, and a chance for me to meet some fellow 'book makers' also; (did that come out right??)
Jo Williams and her team organised a wonderful day, and a never ending supply of tea and cakes. I was grateful to you Jo, but my waistline wasn't and still isn't.
Liz and I had a great time meeting the kids and their parents.

As I said, it was great opportunity to meet other Authors, and curious to find that we had all travelled down from the midlands. It turned out , in fact, that Chris D'Lacey is actually based in the area where i grew up in Leicester, and his first School event was at my old Primary School!!
As Arthur once said. 'Small world but I wouldn't like to carpet it.'

On the road again.

Long time no blog...sorry! Friday saw us taking Russell into Alexandra Infant School in Kingston-on-Thames. It was an event organised by Liz's cousin Mel, whom Liz had last seen at the age of eight and who now sits on the School's board of Governors.
The event consisted of two full events to large groups of children between the ages of 4 and 7 and two readings for nursery classes - all packed into one morning!
Now, being a Night Owl rather than a Morning Lark I find that it takes me a while to get into my day, and an early morning start always seems to find me struggling to get a rythmn. But after a stuttering start we all seemed to have enormous fun, and word came back after the morning break that the children's verdict on the first event was that they thought it all " Fantabulosy!!!!" which apparently is good. The whole morning was wonderful fun, and it always intrigues me how no two events are ever the same. A ten minute reading of 'Russell the Sheep' to a nursery class became a clash of three versions of the story. My version, for what it was worth, and two alternatives offered up by two very 'chatty' little girls (they actually knew the story better than me). They also wanted to tell me how I could improve the story. One of the girls pointed out that maybe it was a little silly for a sheep to try and sleep in a tree, and on a very small branch at that. Fair point! So I asked her if she thought a talking sheep was maybe a little silly. She looked at me sternly and said "Of course it isn't!"
The next little girl kept a hand in the air for a little while before I dared enquire what it was she wanted to ask. "I know how Russell could have got to sleep much sooner," she said. "Why didn't you just draw him with his eyes closed at the beginning."
Thanks Mel, Chris, David, Isabel and Zoe for looking after us and all the Staff and kids of Alexandra Infants School for a wonderful morning. I look forward to visiting again very soon.