Witches were abroad at Ramsey Ram Jam this Saturday! By and large they were about 50cm high, made of paper, card and various sparkly things and looked a bit like Bella Donna…
The children who took part in my workshops made some truly magical work and I think they were extra inspired by the previous day’s visit from Ruth Symes who is the fantastic author responsible for penning the Bella Donna series.
Ramsey Ram Jam is a super event with all sorts of workshops and talks from authors and illustrators who this year as well as myself included: Matt Brown, Nicola Killen, Lizzie Finlay, Steve Antony and Helen Moss. Thanks to all the children and parents who came along and the library staff and volunteers who make Ramsey Ram Jam a wonderful event for us all to be a part of. Below are some of the stunning results from witch class:
I’m delighted to find myself in possession of some of the co-edition copies of the first three Maisie Hitchins stories. It seems that intrepid Maisie has now travelled to France, Poland, Indonesia and America! I love to see the differences between the books, the Amercian edition for example uses a little scroll for the series title “The Mysteries of Maisie Hitchins” and underneath its dust jacket the book is a perfect reproduction of the notebook that Maisie carries everywhere with her – what a lovely detail. Thanks so much to Emily at Stripes Publishing for rounding these up for me!
May saw the launch of the last story in Holly Webb‘s wonderful mystery series Maisie Hitchins. This book is called The Case of the Weeping Mermaid and its action centres around dark and mysterious London docks which were the perfect setting for a front cover. I took photos as I was painting the cover so that I would later remember the different stages and here they all are below from the sketchiest beginnings to the final scan. I always find it challenging painting covers, they seem to go through a lot of different stages and look fairly awful for most of the time until suddenly at the end it all comes together – always a bit of a relief!
This weekend it was my turn to take part in 52 Stories which is a fantastic project thought up by Cherry Hinton’s Spinney Primary School together with the surrounding libraries. The idea is that each and every Saturday for a whole year a different reader comes into libraries and reads stories to children. The readers can be anyone with a love of books and this Saturday it was my turn. I had great fun reading Ready, Steady, Ghost! by Elizabeth Baguley and Ping! by Chae Strathie and showing the children my original illustrations for the books. Afterwards the children did some drawing and created a character who was naughty, stripy and had red hair and wings – you can see a few of their brilliant drawings below. It was a lovely morning and I’d like to thank all those from Cherry Hinton Library and Spinney Primary who organised everything and made me feel so welcome!
A new Maisie Hitchins book has hit the shelves, this one is the 7th in the series and a special favourite of mine because it is so very yellow! This book has an Egyptian theme so I got to draw mummies, sphinxes and burial chambers which I can tell you is a first. Holly Webb has excelled herself this time and Maisie gets into more trouble than ever – it’s a good one! Here are some pictures:
I was asked recently to do some writing for a rather lovely blog called Wonderous Reads which is all about books! Wonderous Reads were interested to know what goes into making a Maisie Hitchins cover, so I put together my thoughts as well as a couple of early sketches for The Case of the Feathered Mask and made a post. It you would like to read about how the Maisie Hitchins covers come into being then have a look here: Marion Lindsay Talks Covers It is a super blog and well worth keeping an eye on if you are a book-lover like me!
On the 7th June I am going to be taking part in the St Ives Book Jam for the third year running. The theme for this year’s summer reading challenge is “Mythical Maze” which has inspired me to want to make DRAGONS! This year I will be holding a collage and drawing workshop at 11am at the St Ives Library and the children who come along will be making dragons from all sorts of collage materials including glittery stuff and anything suitably dragony that we can make stick.
I will be writing a bit more about this before the event but for now here is a little dragony inspiration to be going on with from my book Ready, Steady, Ghost!
Holly Webb has been doing lots of writing and I have been doing lots of drawing and the result can be seen in the form of The Phantom Cat, The Feathered Mask and The Secret Tunnel which are all out now. As well as scampering all over London in her adventures, Maisie’s stories are heading over to America where the first book in the series “The Case of the Stolen Sixpence” is going to be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in September. The Case of the Spilled Ink will be coming out in the UK in August too, but I can’t show you any pictures yet I’m afraid! For now here are the new covers:
Today I visited Cambourne Library and helped children there create a rather excellent Creepy House collage for the Summer Reading Challenge. My book Ready, Steady, Ghost! is one of the selected titles this year which is very exciting indeed! It was great fun today and the children were brilliant – the best thing is that I get to do it again tomorrow at Comberton, then it’s Cambridge on Friday and Huntingdon on Saturday! Here is the result of all today’s drawing, snipping and sticking: