Sheffield Children’s Book Award

Today is the day of reckoning for the Sheffield Children’s Book Award and I am keeping my fingers crossed for Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones – a wonderful story which I was lucky enough to be asked to illustrate. The main character Earwig is a feisty individual who always seems to get her own way in the end despite coming up against the Witch, who is most definitely a wicked one and her strange partner the Mandrake who is only just human at the best of times…

This is a very special award because the books are voted for entirely by young readers themselves. Earwig and the Witch was nominated in the Shorter Novels section, you can see the other novels nominated in this section as well as those in all the other categories by having a look at the Sheffield Children’s Book Award blog.
This is the Mandrake gracing the cover of last winter’s Innis magazine. Innis is the Irish children’s books magazine who published a lovely article about Diana and an obituary by her good friend the writer Neil Gaiman.

Witch Camp

This is the cover for the new Bella Donna book Witch Camp which will be coming out next year. I’ve been illustrating the Bella Donna series by Ruth Symes for quite a while now, in fact this will be book number 5. I really enjoy working on these books, Bella gets into all sorts of trouble on a regular basis and that’s always a lot of fun to draw!

Animal Alphabet at Heffers

On Saturday Nicola Killen and I held a workshop at Heffers children’s bookshop in Cambridge with the aim to create an animal alphabet to put on display in the shop. It was a lot of  fun for us as we took turns leading the drawing and then the colouring and collage. The children did a fantastic job coming up with a stream of brilliant ideas and brand new colours and patterns for animals we all thought were sort of brownish(!) Together with our many helpers we managed to get all the way through to N – pretty good work I think!

A and B
Alligators and Bears!
The hog that’s all heart…
Colouring B
I like that dragon…

Cambridge Festival of Illustration

Tomorrow my studio pal Nicola Killen and I are going to be taking part in Cambridge’s Festival of Illustration. We will be holding a children’s workshop in Heffers children’s bookshop where we and the children will be drawing, colouring and collaging. The plan is to create a fantastic alphabet book to put up on display and considering there are 26 letters to take care of we will need lots of help! The workshop is being held between 11am and 1pm so do come along!

Festival of Illustration


Jarrolds Fimo Demo

I had a great time at my Fimo demo on Saturday! I spent the whole day showing the children how to model all manner of things from Christmas tree decorations to dragons, beads and fruit and veg! I really enjoy my Jarrolds demos, they have a lovely art department there and always make me feel very at home. Here are some snaps of me and the kids hard at work.

It’s all going a bit Christmassy around here…

These are some of the things I’ve been making ready for my Fimo demonstration at Jarrolds on Saturday. You may notice there’s a bit of a Christmas theme going on… Sorry, I know its only November – I just like making tree decorations! I have used lots of sparky “effect” Fimo here as well as seed beads and I picked out the patterns with a pin.

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