Wednesday, 14 March 2018

2018 GANYC Apple Award in Outstanding Achievement in Fiction NYC Book Writing

Hi Chaps,

Well, I've got some fun news, The Knish War on Rivington Street picture book, written by Joanne Oppenheim, published by Albert Whitman, and illustrated by me, has actually won the the 2018 GANYC Apple Award in Outstanding Achievement in Fiction NYC Book Writing!!

There was a ceremony at the SVA Theater in New York on 12th March where the winners were announced.
Here are all the winners in full, the Knish War was amongst some very good company. 

And here's a photo of the actual proper glass trophy with my name inscribed along with Joanne Oppenheim, the author :)

So, now I think I'm officially allowed to wear a waistcoat, smoke a pipe and describe myself as an award winning illustrator :)

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Netball Journal

Hi Chaps,

Anyone out there in Blogland involved in netball?
I've recently illustrated a fab new Journal aimed at young netball players, and it's now available to pre-order for Christmas.

This is a great journal with excercises and projects and quizzes, and stickers.
It was great fun to illustrate - there are a set of different characters that feature throughout, so there was a fair bit of character work, thinking of their characteristics and having those reflected in their looks and attitude and gesture -
and all the illustrations had to be technically correct to follow the rules of the game correctly, so I learned a fair bit about netball :)

The website is here at MyIncredibeleJournals so do have a look, and do mention it to anyone you know involved in the sport :)

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Knish War

Hi chaps,

Well, a new book I've illustrated has come out recently, called 'The Knish War on Rivington Street'.

It's set in New York in the 1910's and is based on a real sales battle between two bakeries who both sell Knishes.
(In case anyone doesn't know, a Knish is a traditional Jewish food, baked or fried, that is made of pastry with various fillings.
They're not very common in the UK, but would be along similar lines to a Cornish Pasty.)

But it was a great book to illustrate, lots of detail and building chaos through the bok, and also historic detail needed.
And there's a recipe at the back so you can make your own :)

It's written by Joanne Oppenheim and published by the lovely people at Albert Whitman.

And it has now been reviewed in the New York Times as well, here.
That's two of my books that have been reviewed in the NY Times, huzzah :)

But do have a look and grab hold of a copy, it's a v nice book :)

Friday, 13 October 2017

Ginger Green in US

Hi Chaps,

Ginger Green Playdate Queen, written by Kim Kane and Illustrated by me for Hardie Grant Egmont in Australia has now been published in the US by Capstone :)
Very exciting, the new editions are nice smart hard backs, very stylish.
Here are the copies I was sent.

Capstone are also home to Dirty Bertie, so Ginger's in good company.
So keep an eye out for them in all those US bookshops, they're worth a look at :)

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Ginger Green Playdate Queen News!

Hi Chaps,

I have an announcement about Ginger Green Playdate Queen, the series of books I'm illustrating for Hardie Grant Egmont in Australia.
(For more info about the series, see the Ginger Green page on the Hardie website )
(And they're written by Kim Kane, do follow her on twitter here )
They're a fab set of books, and seem to be doing pretty well - working on book 9 and I think seven are out in the shops now.

BUT, the announcement is that, not only is Ginger Green going to be available in Australia, as it has been, but now also in the UK and US! Which is rather exciting.

I've worked on a few series of books in Australia, 'Billie B Brown', 'The Tinklers Three' and 'Penelope Perfect', which are all fab books which I heartily recommend, so it'll be great to have one of them available over here too.

Maybe soon, when talking to people, and they ask what I've illustrated, and I reply 'Ginger Green', rather than the usual blank look, and slightly dazed expression, people might actually know what I'm talking about :)

It's due out in the Autumn, so keep your eyes open, more detail soon :)

Monday, 20 March 2017

London Book Fair

Hi Chaps,

It was the London Book Fair (or LBF17 for those in the know) last week, and I popped along for a look around on Wedmesday.
I didn't see any seminars this year, but as always it was very interesting and inspiring seeing all the new books on the publishers stands.
Walker Books is always a good stand to look round, they've got the usual fab stuff coming up, as with Scholastic.
And I particularly enjoyed looking round the Nosy Crow stand, with new Hubble Bubble books on the way, and I also managed to have a chat with one of the people there, who gave me a few minutes in between meetings.
A highlight, though was the Little Tiger stand, where I got to say hello, and also see an advance copy of their 'Journeys' book I was one of the illustrators for.
Its under their 360degrees imprint, and it looks great. Lovely design and production values.
Here's a snap of the lovely cover

And here's my name in lovely big lettering on the very stylishly designed title page :)
It's a very interesting book. I recommend it.
For instance, did you know that Amundsen, the first man to the South Pole was successful on that expedition due to his expertise with dogs, which he learned while doing the North East passage?
And that there was also a Japanese expedition to the South Pole?
Here is a photo of the South Pole spread.

I'm going to keep an eye out for this one in the shops :)

Friday, 28 October 2016


Hi Chaps,

I've been recently working on a book that requires some crowd scenes, and groups of people. Sometimes I do find I can be tempted to let the figures in a crowd or group become a bit non-specific, characterless, loose, drones, who all look the same, due to the repetition of filling the space.
Rather than making them all being individual characters.
And the difference is the enjoyment in doing the illustration.
Whatever the picture, if I can find something in it that fires my interest/inspiration, and gets me engrossed, then I enjoy doing it more, and therefore it comes out better.
So, my first task when doing an illustration, along with working out the composition, is finding the route to being inspired.
So with these recent crowd scenes I'm working on, I blocked out the composition reasonably quickly, and then had a nice relax with my sketchbook and enjoyed myself trying to think up different characters to populate the crowds.
And here they are.