Wednesday 27 April 2011

A quick spin around the dance floor with the delightful Lydia Monks!

After many many evenings in at Book Sniffer Tower eagerly consuming my ever growing mountain of picture books (and catching up on Master Chef) Mouse finally persuaded me to take in the sights of this big bright city I call home - I decided to don my best bib and tucker and head to the local ballroom to check out to local filly's (and show them a move or two...natch)

As I sat sipping my lychee martini I almost choked on my glace cherry as I spotted a vision of pure beauty hot stepping it towards my booth. Flame haired and wearing a divine emerald green dress was none other than jive-tastic (star of the small screen) Lydia Monks! (gasp..and *blush*)

It was almost as though time itself had stood still but I couldn't let the moment pass so I took my chance and engaged this fine lady in a little light conversation (I treated her to a snowball too!)

I have been known to throw a few legendary shapes in my time but word has it that you Miss lovely as a sugar bun Lydia Monks are some what a master of the dance floor - say for instance I was otherwise engaged who would your dream celebrity dance partner be?

Who would my celebrity dance partner be? Wow! That's a question I've never been asked before! I'd dream about being on Strictly Come Dancing. I'd happily dance with anyone - Vincent Simone would be a treat. Or Anton. But I'm not fussy really! Apart from the lovely Strictly gentlemen, I have a bit of a thing for Micheal Flatley - but shhh! Don't tell anyone!
You've worked with heaps of famous authors is there anyone left who you would really really like to work with?

Who would I like to work with? I'd love to work with Micheal Morpurgo. (You have to aim high!) A favourite book in our house at the moment is his version of Hansel and Gretel, illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark. He has a magical way with words, and has given the story a new dimension I think. Can I do something like that, please?!
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Good enough to eat!

What are you working on at the moment and is it keeping you out of mischief?

At the moment, I am working on a big, pre-school book about a monkey. It has only five spreads, but it is very detailed and has things going on behind flaps. It's my story, (although I haven't written it yet!) Monkey lives in a tree house and drives a little car made of wood. I've just sent off the roughs.

While Monkey is being examined, I shall start some character sketches for a new Julia Donaldson text. I'm really excited by this one! It's an illustrator's dream; featuring a mermaid and a circus! What more could you want!
I am also working on a huge mural at my little girl's school.
(None of these things keep me out of mischief though, sadly!)

Half time at the tea dance what would you choose from the refreshment trolley?

 From the refreshment trolley, I would have a couple of little, triangle sandwiches. Salmon and cucumber, maybe. Then a cup of tea and an eclair.

Seeing as we are getting on so famously, Apart from being a fabulously talented illustrator, groovy dancer and sophisticat tell us three things we never knew about Lydia Monks?

Three things you never knew about me...

1. I am related to General Monck. I'll send a picture so you can see the likeness!

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The general also looks smashing in green!

2. Most people call me 'Lyds'. One or two call me, 'Monksey'.

3. I'm not keen on groups of frogs.

BONUS FACT: I have a secret passion for rescuing old prints from charity shops

Have you spotted any good picture books lately which you think we should give a good sniffing?

The last picture book I bought was, 'Duck, Death and the Tulip', by Wolf Erlbruch. Not many children's books have Death as one of the main characters!

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Certainly worth a sniff - although perhaps not whilst chowing down on a duck pate sandwich with the crusts cut off...

Well what a night..Lydia is one heck of a gal! find out more about Lydia's work by visiting her bonkers blog and  fabulous zingy website here you'll be astonished by all the brilliant books! ...including this...and all of these
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A cracker for sharing!

Wednesday 20 April 2011

A pickled egg with Guy Parker-Rees

You simply can't have failed to notice that it has been ever so slightly sweltering out in the big wide world today!...
Mouse doesn't much like the heat or the sun for that matter (must be something to do with her Vampiric tendencies) so I took it upon myself to head out handkerchief hat on head to the seaside for a bit of promenading...

You never guess who I bumped into on the pier bucket and spade in hand...only nicer than a tickle on the tummy Mr Guy Parker-Rees!

I hastily finished off my fab lolly  and as I was about to discard my stick I noticed the distinct lack of joke...what ever has happened to those cracking lolly stick jokes? I thought Guy might have one up his sleeve...Can you tell us your best rib tickling joke Guy?

A Frenchman goes into a bar with a parrot on his shoulder, The barman says “Wow, that’s really lovely where did you get him from?”

“In France”, says the parrot ,“there are loads of them over there.”

So Mr GPR You've worked with heaps of authors including bonkers as a fruit bat Tony Mitton  and lovely as a slice of warm pie Julia Jarman (who you've just partnered up with for Ants in Your Pants) is there anyone else you'd still like to work with or do you prefer illustrating your own stories?

I once illustrated a play for Julia Donaldson and would love to work with her  again one day, I love rhyming stories. Well, I do like writing stories- but the stories the publishers offer me are usually much better. I go to a Children’s Book writing group in Lewes with other illustrators and authors to try out ideas.

What are you working on at the moment and is it keeping you out of mischief?

I’m hatching an exciting project for a big busy world at the moment- a sort of Where’s Wally meets Richard Scarry on the way to The magic Roundabout.

It’s top secret. No it doesn’t keep me out of mischief- and I’m still shoplifting boxes of eggs and egg timers- I wish I could stop.

Tell us three things we never knew about you?

*I used to sing in a Punk band called ‘Staines’ (not ‘The Staines”)- the manager of the Clash came to see us – he said we weren’t very good and he was quite right.

*As a child I used to bunk in over the fence down by the canal at London zoo on many a sunny afternoon in the Summer Holidays.

*I hitch hiked from San Francisco to New York when I was 19.

Seeing as we are at the seaside and it's at least 10 minutes since I finished my Ice Lolly What do you fancy from the chippy? (and have you ever eaten a pickled egg?)

love eggs in any guise- egg and chips must be one of my fave nosh-ups.

Yes I have had pickled eggs- I feel the vinegar detracts from the true beauty of the essence of egginess.

I would like to try a deep fried Mars Bar one day- but meanwhile I’ll have haddock and chips with mushy peas and don’t be mean with the ketchup (and make sure it’s Heinz and not that cheap acidic rubbish) and a bit of mayo for the chips and a slice of lemon for the fish, no, not wrapped I’ll eat them now, thanks.

NB: you can add Egg Fanatic to the "three things we never knew about Guy" bit too as a bonus FACT!

Do you like Marmite?

Marmite, yum, especially on soldiers with boiled egg or hiding under a fried egg on a warm slice of buttery toast.

Do you have any secret hidden talents?
I am very good at spotting mushrooms from 100 yards away
It has to be said...he sure is a "fun-Guy"...snigger

- every Autumn  for the last twenty years or more I’ve been out looking for wild edible mushrooms in the woods-you get a sort of sixth sense for where they will be hiding. It’s all the thrill of hunting- only for vegetarians and softies like me.

It’s not really a hidden talent though, I tend to go on about it at any given opportunity.

Have you spotted any good picture books which you think we should sniff out on our return to book sniffer towers?

Apart from any book that’s about to come out by anyone I know (that should cover it),I like to browse the great collection of picture books at the Book Nook in Hove.

Vanessa, one of the owners, recently showed me a copy of ‘Who’s Hiding’  which I thought was a brilliant, simple concept.

Well what a nice day to spend beside the sea...and what a bonus to bump into My new lovely chum Guy...must invite him to Book Sniffer Towers one of these days for some scotch eggs...

If you want to keep up to date with Guy's latest works of art keep your peepers peeled for these little gems...

Lenny Leopard’s Jungle Dance  has just come out- lots of pull the tab fun with a pop-up at the end.

Ants in your Pants coming out in paperback 2nd June
And “The Jungle Run” – an action-packed Tony Mitton rhyming romp - Coming soon.

Alpha-better-bloomin-believe it!

 I thought it only fair that I should draw your attention to a picture book which is publishing very soon to make sure you knew about it before everyone else! (spread the word sniffers, this is a cracker)

Paul "too cool for school" Thurlby's "Alphabet"

Having mastered ones ABC's many many years ago (apart from the "ellameeno" bit which I still sometimes fumble a bit) I was almost set to turn my puggy nose up at this version - but at a single glance I was stopped in my tracks.

OH LORKS! such sophisticated deliciousness and style simply oozing from every page. 

This book deserves to win a huge Easter basket full of design awards as it is quite simply the most darned snazzy book on the market in this genre - The tootie fruity 1950's life saver colours made me drool ever so slightly 

and I spent many many hours spelling out various words to see which ended up looking the coolest...Turns out "Sniffer" is pretty neat.

You simply MUST check out Paul's website - it is quite simply fine AND dandy!

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Junior Design Awards - WINNER

Hip Hip Hooray!
Get the bunting out and line the streets for today we are proud to announce (with a riotous fanfare) that Owen Davey has won the category of Most Promising New Talent in the Junior Magazine design awards  with his smashing picture book Foxly's Feast!

There will be a special 164 page Collectors' Edition of Junior magazine (July issue, on sale June 3) which will showcase all the winners.   The Junior website, will also feature the winners.

Find out more about Owen here...and here!

A well deserved win

Sunday 10 April 2011

Digging up an old classic....

Re-visiting Jan Pienkowski's  Haunted House!
(hope you are feeling brave!)

YES this is real 3D!

Whilst em"bark"ing on a spot of spring cleaning (pink feather duster in hand) one stumbled upon what must be one of the all time classic picture pop-ups Jan Pienkowski's Greenaway award winning Haunted House.
I remember the tatty old (much loved) edition at our local library, bearly a pop left in tact but still the book which everyone made a beeline for.
I now look back and wonder whether it was the closest thing to watching television but on re-visiting this spoooooky story I can see that it's almost perfect in every way!

Scared?! me? way I'm double hard!

Crrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeak open up the door on this house of horrors and you will be in for a big surprise!

you will; be whisked through the rooms of a spooky old house as a prospective new tenant encountering the following on your way
  • Real dangly spiders
  • A googly eyed octopus doing the dishes
  • An utterly horrifying spaghetti monster with fried egg eyes launching itself out of the fridge
  • A humongous Ape with pecs that Peter Andrea would be proud of
Mouse = not fussed...

  • A wall busting alien beast with horrifying antenna

  • Posh Spice chilling out in a wardrobe
  • And a life sized bat and a real sawing saw! (very clever)
Her head is practically being sawn in two ...still sleeping...

I loved this book as a pup and it was smashing re-visiting this spooky old house.
Now must get back to dusting those cobwebs and re-arranging those skeletons in the cupboard!

Here are 3 interesting facts about Jan...
1- His lifelong interest in stage design landed numerous commissions: two shows for Theatre de Complicite, then Beauty and the Beast for The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden and a spectacular Sleeping Beauty at Disneyland, Paris
2- The first book he ever wrote at the age of 8 was about road rage
3- He is the creator of the best-selling Meg and Mog series

NB: Interestingly as we now embark on the era of the App, Haunted House was made into a CD-Rom at the time which seems to me an unusual format for a pop-up book....

Saturday 9 April 2011

FREE ICE CREAM at the Oxford Lit fest?...yes please!

A balmy day spent at the Oxford Lit Fest can't be beaten, thank goodness I packed my straw boater as today was a bloomin' scorcher!

There I was perched upon a silk cushion (like some kind of dandy!) in the green room at the Oxford Lit Fest, an abundance of the finest Hendricks gin cocktails served by smart chaps in cravats and the glitterati of the literary world milling around me, I thought the day simply could not get any better and then John Newman arrived!

Me and John, he even gave me a lick of his mini-milk...what a gent!

I tell you what, that man is truly a Book Sniffer of the highest order , what John doesnt know about kids books simply isn't worth knowing and do you know what he bloomin LOVES books, he really really does. So we nattered away John, Mrs Newman and I before heading off to the Junior Common Room for some larks with illustrator Thomas Docherty and is giant cardboard ice lolly.

Thomas Docherty with his giant cheese flavour cardboard ice lolly!

Much fun was had and the children were captivated (and bribed with free ice lollys natch!)

Anyway a smashing day all round!

John Newman (and Mrs Newman) the Book Sniffer Salutes you!

Thursday 7 April 2011

Doggy Doodle FRIDAY! yipeeeeeeeeeee

And here is a splendid (handsome but not as handsome as me) Saluki sent to us by dishy Sam McCullen, you can find out more about him and his work here...



  • I bet he likes Pepperami!

    Wednesday 6 April 2011

    Hip Hip Hooray it's a Holly Holly-Day!

    One has spent much of the day gadding about with the delightful ladies and gents at Bounce - however I made sure I made it back to Book Sniffer Towers in time to iintroduce you to a brand new rising star and paint brush master...(and the creator of the immensely popular "How to Draw a Pug" feature) the delightful "sweet as a french fancy" Holly Surplice
    What'o Holly What are you working on at the moment and is it keeping you out of mischief?

    Right now I am working on such exciting projects, if I had a tail it would surely have wagged itself right off with the excitement of it all!

    My head is full of Bottom-scratching Bears, Spotty dogs and Partying Guinea Pigs at the moment (no wonder I don't sleep that well at night) and it is all very exciting!

    My first book with the wonderful Harper Collins is called “About a Bear” and is due out in September. It is a delicious riot of colour and texture and a simple celebration of the wonderfulness of a Bear. I have loved working on this project so much! Harper have been utterly fantastic, and we have worked at the hair-splitting pace that I love – lots of midnight oil burned on this one but it has been so worth it - I cannot wait for Bear to sit his grand bottom on the bookshelves!

    Bear Bum! *blush*

    It took a moment or two to catch my breath back after completing About a Bear, but all the while I had a spotty dog running riot in my head trying to dig up little gems that I could piece together to make a totally doggylicious new book which is what I am working on now. Inspired by Marbles, my partner-in-crime for the past seven years, this is a book that has been brewing for quite some time now. I have written many versions of different story concepts for this book so the one we are working on is still in it's infancy and I don't want to give too much away (in case it all changes again!) but I promise it is going to be absolutely dogtastic!

    Finally, I have a conga-line of guinea pigs parading about upstairs too, it really is just one non-stop, ridiculous party in my head sometimes! My very recent collaboration with the super-lovely Nosy Crow sees me having a hilarious time drawing guinea pigs of all shapes and sizes, getting up to all sorts of mischief. It's always great when you are working on a project that makes you chuckle while you draw! This is going to be a fiesta of fun, in the form of a counting book so something totally different to get my teeth into.

    This is great – writing down all the things I am working on reminds me what a fun job I have (sometimes that gets forgotten amidst the piles of corrections and deadlines)!

    You obviously work very closely with your canine companion Marbles but are there any other human authors/illustrators you would like to collaborate with?

    Ooh, this is a tricky one! There are so many talented folk out there that I admire, but I think, if I could collaborate with anyone, it would have to be the totally awesome and supremely lovely Polly Dunbar. She has such a fantastically effortless style of writing and illustrating that is so full of wit and charisma – I am such a big fan of her work, and very lucky to be able to call her my friend too!

    Polly and the sniffer...

     My ipad case arrived in the post today ..alas still no sign of the ipad itself! What do you think of eBooks and Apps?

     Well this seems to be such a area of great debate! I know that many view Apps and eBooks with an air of scepticism, but I think that there is always room for new ways to bring stories to little people.
    At the end of the day, I think that anything that encourages children to absorb words and pictures and feed their imagination is a good thing. Of course I think that nothing can ever replace the wonderfulness of holding a book in your hands and physically turning the pages to reveal the excitement overleaf.

    I love being able to get totally up close to illustrations in a book book and being able to lift flaps, pull tabs and chew hard-covers is what babies and children love about real books, that will ever change. But, there is no use in trying to deny the presence of advancing technology, and I think we should just embrace the fact that there are new ways developing all the time to help excite the imagination of our children.

    I have seen some great book Apps at work on the ipad and it is amazing what is being produced! Children can really interact with the stories and use their own creativity to enhance the story-telling experience which I think is great. Nosy Crow seem to be trail-blazing their way into the App market which is something that I found so interesting and exciting when I first heard about them. I would love to work on something digital, I think it would be amazing to see illustrations come to life in an interactive format (secretly would love my guinea pigs to dance across a digital page!) - ALL books are great, I don't really think it matters what they are made of!

    As everyone knows as a pup my fave books to sniff was "My Cat Likes To Hide in Boxes" (closely followed by The Giant Jam Sandwich",

     I loved books like “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly” by Pam Adams and “Each Peach Pear Plum”. I can remember being totally fascinated by the concept of this woman eating all these creatures and then the awfulness that she dies in the end! Totally simple and brilliant at the same time, and what child doesn't like a book with holes in it! I adore writing and reading in rhyme and Each Peach is such a great example of this, combined with that classic game of hide and seek, it's not hard to see why it is still such a popular little book (my little girl loves it!).

    Of course the queen of modern rhyme as we all know, is Julia Donaldson, my favourite is A Squash and a Squeeze.
     My daughter Honey has impeccable literary taste and is genuinely an even bigger Polly Dunbar fan than me! She cannot get enough of the Tilly and Friends books and her babbling conversations often include the phrase “No more Bitey Bitey!” (from Doodle Bites), Penguin is also a favourite, and in my mind, a modern classic!

    (c) Polly Dunbar

    Tell us about three things that inspire you...

     Animals, children and illustrations inspire me! I love the actual characters present in all creatures when you take the time to observe them which is something that I have always enjoyed doing. Marbles & Honey together are a constant source of hilarity, and produce a variety of visual comedy for me to draw from on a daily basis – I am very lucky.

     I am always inspired by watching children reading and responding to books, it is always fascinating learning what children actually want to look at!
    I adore looking at and get huge inspiration from looking at the work of other artists, especially when I look at their work and think, “How on earth did they do, or have the patience to do that!” (I think this when I look at the recent pic you featured by
    Levi Pinfold (such a great name!) of the Black Dog).
    It doesn't make me aspire to try to produce work like them (I couldn't!), but pushes me to try to find the next best thing that I can create myself - I get bored very easily so am constantly looking at new ways to develop my work and keep it interesting for me to produce, and others to look at.

     Sniffed anything good lately?

     I have to say if you haven't looked at Penguin by Miss Dunbar, then you MUST!
    Penguin Perfection...

    But also, I absolutely adore Slow Loris by Alexis Deacon it is such a celebration of drawing, and superb animal observation, he is an amazing talent.

    This title is one NOT TO MISS!

    And....The Bear's Winter House by John Yeoman & Quentin Blake, first published in 1969 this book looks as fresh as if it had just been released, scrummily effortless Blake illustrations bring to life a gorgeous story.

    Thanks for popping by for tea lovely Holly Surplice, we would like to wish you the best of luck with your new book and can't wait to see a finished copy!! Next time you're passing bring Marbles!

    Check out Holly's blog here and her website here!

    Tuesday 5 April 2011

    Ever wondered how to draw a pug? ...yes me too!

    My dear Book Sniffers have you ever sat back and wished that you could draw a pug?...yes me too!
    So here is a step-by-step guide to teach you just that!

    THANK YOU lovely Holly Surplice

    NB: is purely coincidental that this happens to be a swoonsome lady pug! *heart flutters*

    A full interview with the delightful Holly over tea and biscuits will follow tomorrow!

    Saturday 2 April 2011

    Ding Ding! All Aboard the Poo Bus...

    A huge stinking pile of picture book heaven landed on the door mat of Book Sniffer Towers this week.

    The picture-perfect honeys at
    Puffin have sent me a copy of a brand new (not even in the shops yet!) picture book by good friend of the Book Sniffer and fan of Jaffa Cakes Mr Andy Stanton.

    I'm not sure this one stops at Penge?

    Ding Ding ! All Aboard the Poo Bus.
    So here it is, Andy Stanton's very first (and almost certainly not the last) triumph of a picture book. 
    It's a smasher, illustrated throughout by Noelle "touch of Hollywood glam" David-Brock.
    This book tells the story of a cunning toad who thinks that the best way to fill his big fat toady-tum with treats is to trick the local mini beasts with a vehicle of the likes you will never have seen before (unless you have been fortunate enough to get the last night bus home via Lewisham)

    The tum-rumbling toad sets about making a bus out of poo which he takes on a trip down to the seaside (Southend-on-Sea one suspects but the seaside resort is not specified)  Naturally earthworms, beetles and bugs jump at the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and hop aboard said poo bus...alas this cunning plan does not end well...Not for the bugs at least! the story culminates in a poop-tacular bug feast.

    For those sniffers among us who are familiar with Andy's work, this will quench those desires for a picture book which dips a tiny toe into the pond of indecency.

    There are no fairies, bunnys, bears, diggers OR dinosaurs but bet your bottom dollar (and your last rolo) that little pups everywhere will be asking for this one over and over again. 

    Book Sniffer gives this riotous mad-cap picture book...
    4 loo rolls and a pine scented air freshener out of 5...Smashing

    Thank You to the kind folk at Puffin for sending us a copy of Here Comes The Poo Bus

    Good luck with the book Andy and Noelle...

    Friday 1 April 2011

    His Masters Voice with Levi Pinfold!

    "His Masters Voice" with Levi Pinfold
    I have wrapped a shimmery scarf around my head in a Bo-ho chic fashion in order to greet my next guest (Book Trust Best New Illustrator) Levi Pinfold!
    Here he is in conversation with me over a cup of mint tea and a choc bar or two...

    Tell us about three things which inspire you "too cool for school" Levi Pinfold?

    Good stories are probably the number one thing that inspires me, they're what makes everything tick ent they?   On a less high minded but more cheesy note – Laughing at stuff.  Animals and children are usually hilarious, and my girlfriend is a very funny individual, although I laugh with her, not at her.  Never.  

    I try to pay attention to everyday details, and shoehorn them into my work when I can,  I think incidental stuff is  important and sometimes very telling – great to put in illustrations!   Also, being as  open-minded as possible with interests helps me for inspiration – I never know what will lead to an idea so I try to listen to and read things that are outside of my comfy bubble when I can. 

    Is that more than three?

    Someone once told me never to pee on my own doorstep..advice which I have found invaluable, What is the most valuable piece of advice anyone gave you?

    Learn to count to three.

    In all seriousness, I can't remember who told me this, or where, but the gist of it was to trust yourself.  If you work in a way that you like, someone somewhere will like it too.  Oh, and don't pull funny faces in case the wind changes.  If you can only be yourself, you don't want to be stuck with a mug like this:

    What are you working on now and is it keeping you out of mischief?

    I'm finishing off my next picture book, Black Dog, which should be out in Autumn this year.  It's about being scared of things you don't understand, and how that fear is often unfounded.  I'm working in a medium I haven't used before, tempera, so it has taken a little while to do – lots of layers and underpainting and concentration involved.  I made the paints myself for a small while but that kind of thing isn't helpful with deadlines, so I have switched to pre-mixed for the meat of the book.

    Which 5 things would you take to a desert island?

    1.     Snickers bar
    2.     Mars bar
    3.     Twix bar
    4.     Boost bar
    5.     Excalibur

    I don't think I'd last long but I'd have a great time.

    It's not a boney'o but I wouldn't say no!

    How does it feel to have won two such prestigious awards so early on in your career?

    Tremendous, but odd!  I wasn't expecting anything to happen with my first book.  It is reassuring that creatively I'm doing something that resonates with a few people.  It also gives me confidence that I might be able to do what I love as a job for a bit longer.  The other angle on this is the temptation to work in a way that has previously garnered some attention – hopefully I can keep moving forward and doing new things.

    Trying to fit through doors with a massive head is tough, so its important to keep perspective and filter out anything that inflates the ego too much.  I think you can only work effectively if you are self critical.

    It's exciting to see that organisations such as Booktrust aren't just looking at the work of more established names.  The recognition and welcoming of new illustrators into the picture book field is a huge help for anyone like me, who is just starting out.  

    Taken from "Django" - Early Years Best New Illustrator Award Winner

    Music appears to play a big part in your life and work, Can you recommend some good music that cool cad about town like myself should be listening to?

    Too much to name!  I'm a big Scott Walker fan.  Slim Gaillard is great fun for gadding Taraf de Haidouks if you want a slightly frantic but jolly old time.  I think Vaughan Williams is pretty cool but my friends don't seem to agree with me!  I suppose cool is the wrong word... I'm enjoying Wye Oak and St. Vincent as I'm writing this.  I can be a bit of a bore about this stuff so I'm going to have to stop myself from gas-bagging any longer.

    Moonshine Mouse

    Do you have any thoughts on the digital future of the picture book?

    I think that books stop being books as soon as they are viewed on screen.  This isn't a criticism, I just think digital media a very different experience to actually holding a book in your hands.  There's something about  physicality that is very hard to replicate; feeling the materials of the book and turning the page gives you more of a connection to any particular book.  Reading from an ipad at bedtime doesn't have quite the same appeal.  Perhaps its because it makes a story feel more disposable – you can very easily become distracted at the touch of a button, and not give the book the time it deserves.  Also, the nature of a book requires your imagination to bring the characters to life and so forth.  In my view, imagining movement in the gaps between the words and pictures helps to develop more of an attachment to the story, and is a more interactive experience than the various illusions of digital media.

    However, I am not by any means a luddite. I think that interactive elements can be interesting in their own right – perhaps as a supplement to the book itself:  I can imagine exploring the fringes of a story in an ingenious app , inviting readers further into the fiction you are creating.  Hmmm... I think I feel an idea forming...

    Concentrating VERY hard...
    Can you recommend any good picture books for us to sniff? 
    Grahame Baker-Smiths FArTHER is stunning - and he's just been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 

    You simply MUST check out Levi's fabulous picture book Django at the soonest opportuity!
    Published by Templar Publishing

    "What makes the book special is its painterly qualities; take, for example, the picture of the caravan, standing in summer grass, next to a shed of stained corrugated iron. The caravan is hung with magic lanterns, the sky is smudged with pink clouds. It is a fully imagined work. I liked, too, the fierce, lived-in authenticity of the father’s face. It will be relished by sophisticated children and jazz-loving adults alike." Kate Kellaway, The Observer

    Thanks for popping by Levi, Smashing to meet you !