Wednesday 28 December 2011

Sniffing Sketch Books. . .

Sniffing picture books is all well and good.. but if you really want to get into the inner sanctum of  an author / illustrators mind you need to delve into the pages of their sketch book. 
There is something magical about opening a book and not knowing what to expect with each turn of the page, thought processes, feelings, ideas, glimmers of characters yet to be given a life of their own…un-edited wonderfulness in all it’s scribbly glory. A rare treat and privilege and one that should be relished page by gloriously random page.

This Christmas I was lucky enough to receive a copy of The First In Line by Mattias Adolfsson

Unfortunately and oddly published sketch books are few and far between but it must be said this one is outstanding, a thick postcard format book printed on droolsomely thick grainy paper just like a real sketchbook.

The opening text aptly reads …

“Your work amazes me to the point where I want to drop kick anyone in the face who doesn’t sketch”

Each page faithfully recreated  from one of Mattias’s sketch books spread after glorious spread will make your heart splitter and splutter with wonder.

Interspersed with small smattering  of interviews the pages of this book brim with unusual imagined worlds, strange characters  bursting to come alive in books of their own, landscapes, comic strips, observations and  so SO much more. 

This book will be flicked through many many many times and every time something new noticed, admired  and appreciated.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough – tis a treasure in all respects. A book of the finest vintage to be sniffed and relished.
Here are some tiny peeks into some of the sketch books I have been lucky to stick my snout inside of late …and I can tell you I thank my lucky stars that I have been lucky enough to do so!
Clara Vulliamy, Champagne and a handful of sketch books - BLISS
Chris Mould - Robot Master and sketch book King!
A brief peep into the mind of Mould!

Here I am nestled inside one belonging to Dame Lauren Child!
Cor Clarice Bean's 'Uncle Hunkle' smells delish!

TREASURES! every one!... we'll be featuring a sketchbook gallery on the Book Sniffer blog and Facebook page next year so please let us know if you are interested in being featured - please email

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