An exciting new series for the Usborne Young Reading Programme, Fairy Unicorns: Magic Forest and Fairy Unicorns: Cloud Castle feature the enchanting illustrations of Nuno Alexandre Vieira. Based in Portugal, Nuno is an extremely versatile artist who loves to work with traditional media (with a particular passion for Indian ink!), in digital or a mix between the two and especially loves to create captivating characters and imagine fantastical worlds for them! Fairy tales, magic and adventure are his favourite subjects to illustrate and this is obvious from his sublime cover art to the characterful and spellbinding line drawings that bring these illustrated books to life! Become submerged in his dream-like world -
Published by Pat-a-Cake books, a brand new baby, preschool and early years imprint from Hachette Children’s group, these adorable peek and play rhyme books, delightfully illustrated by Richard Merritt are out tomorrow, and they were so pleased with the results that Richard has been commissioned for two more coming next year! Richard says of taking this inspiring new direction:
“It’s really exciting to be part of a brand new publishing imprint, so I was thrilled to be asked to create the artwork for these wonderful books. The illustrations were a welcome diversion from what I’ve usually done in my career to date, as I’ve always wanted to get involved with baby and toddler books because they are such fun to do, thinking of all the cute little details for the children to spot as they read - I even found myself humming along to the nursery rhymes as I worked!”
So warm up those vocal chords for a good old fashioned sing-along!
The amazing David Dean has been working on a huge project for the past few months and we are thrilled to at last be able to show you the beautiful first batch of rich and dynamic covers for the enormously exciting reprinting of all of Michael Morpurgo’s books by Egmont! These stunning books push David’s cover count to over 100 and feature his bold and characteristically insightful interpretations of the stories drawn from unique and extraordinary perspectives.
David, with his wealth of experience and passion for book design really was the only person to complete this mammoth 20 cover task! He has been represented by The Organisation for the past 18 years and says of this prestigious commission:
“This was a bit of a dream job for me! Getting to do a series of twenty covers, and for such a well-known author, was a real privilege. Morpurgo is an amazing storyteller, and the variety of subjects he tackles meant the job never got stale - I got to paint King Arthur, a wagon train and World War II planes!
The job went very smoothly and almost all of my roughs were approved with little or no amendments. Keeping all the covers different, in terms of colours and composition, was a challenge, but a fun one that pushed me into trying different things! I did find illustrating the cover for 'War Horse' somewhat daunting and put off tackling that one as long as I could! It is such a modern classic and has been illustrated so many times, often brilliantly, that I wasn’t sure I was equal to the task, though it ended up being one of my favourite covers!”
These first 6 stunning books are on sale now and we will be featuring the next gorgeous batch in May’s newsletter so keep an eye out!
The wonderful Livia Coloji has been a busy bee, illustrating some classic children’s tales for the exciting new Parragon First Readers series, the latest of which feature two of the most cute and courageous little characters from children’s literature - Thumbelina and The Ugly Duckling!
We are sure that Livia’s stunningly vivid colour palate, bold and beautiful flower and foliage borders and instantly endearing animals will elevate these stories from well-known bookshelf staples to compelling new reading adventures! Livia has been working as a professional artist since 2005 and particularly enjoys illustrating for children, although she has been known to turn her hand to projects as diverse as designing the promotional material for a world music festival and painting the indigenous vampires of her native Romania, so who knows what she might be up to next!!!
Stunningly and sensitively illustrated by the fabulous Ella Okstad, ‘Ballerina Dreams’ is the adorable younger-reader edition of Michaela DePrince's highly moving memoir of her journey from a lonely child in an orphanage in Sierra Leone to principle dancer for the Dutch National Ballet.
Ella’s always joyful illustrations perfectly express the love, dedication and hope that drove DePrince to achieve her dreams. Each page of this unique autobiography is bursting with her signature warmth and exudes a gentle and endearing humour whilst simultaneously capturing the vibrant movement of the tiny ballerinas twirling and balancing on tiptoes!
Sure to have you dancing for joy, Ballerina Dreams is out this month from Faber.
Quino Marin's striking cover portraits for the newest editions of these much-loved stories for Little, Brown Book Group beautifully convey Katy's determined and adventurous streak and combine with a wonderfully subtle nod to the first edition that featured a procession of Katydid - a species of cricket - against a plain saffron cover!
In these enchanting tales by Susan Coolidge of 1872, Katy speaks with a charm and directness that remains as fresh as when it was written. 'What Katy Did' sees the 12 Year old Katy Carr as a scruffy tomboy who is forever getting into trouble whereas in 'What Katy Did at School' we meet a more mature and thoughtful girl as she and Clover prepare to attend the fictional Hillsover school in New Hampshire. In this sequel to the classic novel of American Childhood the girls travel north, the landscape opens and alters; flat plains give way to high mountains and the air turns "cool and full of a brilliant zest, which the Western girls had never before tasted."
Not content with the hugely successful Look and Find Zoo last month, the wonderfully talented and prolific Gareth Lucas has yet another spectacular book of beasties to spot, count and identify out this month! This latest gem from Usborne Publishing's ‘Look and Find’ sees Gareth tackling T-Rexs and Triceratops, Stegosaurus and Styracosaurs, all with his usual exquisite attention to detail and infused with wonderfully subtle humour and exploding with creativity and colour!
Have you ever met a Psammead? When 5 siblings start exploring a gravel pit not far from their new home, they discover an incredible creature who has eyes like a snail, ears like a bat and the body of a spider, and is very bad tempered indeed! This new edition from Alma Books of the much loved classic tale is Illustrated by the wonderful Ella Okstad whose enchanting, playful and expressive style brings the unexpected and catastrophic consequences of the children’s wishes for beauty, wings and wealth vividly to life!
Ella’s work, filled with its hallmark movement and energy, perfectly compliments this action packed tale and leaves us asking the question: persuading an extremely grumpy sand fairy to grant your wish - what could possibly go wrong?!!
Keesha and Nick have two big problems: 1. Their favourite park might be closing and 2. Monsters have moved in next door! Steve Horrocks’ visually stunning work for the 'Oxford Reading Tree All Stars' fiction series combines his trademark hilarious and lovable characters with a hugely imaginative story of friendship and acceptance!
Steve’s bold and humorous style is perfectly suited to this popular series which aims to use the most engaging illustration to aid understanding and spark a lifelong love of reading! It has certainly inspired us to grab a copy!
Can you really have too much of a good thing? Two children discover that when that good thing is dragons, then probably the answer is yes! Giovanni Abeille’s stunningly beautiful work for Cricket Media’s short story ‘Too Many Dragons’ appears in the this month’s edition of SPIDER Magazine. With a subtle and sublime colour palate and striking use of texture and depth, these illustrations are sure to make this story a firm favourite with their young readers! Giovanni, who studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts of Naples, demonstrates his exceptional skills in characterisation in these pieces - beautifully capturing Skoki’s deep longing for the little brown creature she has only read about in books - the Stink Bug! From tiny dragons entangled in her hair to huge dragons nesting on top of her family’s garage, Skoki’s frustration with her densely populated imaginary world can be clearly felt! We can’t help feeling however, that Skoki should be careful what she wishes for next!!
This month sees the release of this fabulously fun and feisty picture book retelling of a classic fairytale. Sumptuously illustrated by the amazing Barbara Bongini, ‘Beauty and the Very Beastly Beast’ sees the glamorous Belle leave her darling ‘Popsey’ and beloved sisters behind to live with the dreaded Beast!
Barbara chose to depict these unique characters in 1930s setting and costume, beautifully complimenting the P.G. Wodehouse-style humour of the text and creating a truly wonderful backdrop to each humour filled scene! We think you will agree with Belle that, even when the beast is being beastly, it would be impossible to resist those huge sad eyes!
Perfect for imaginative readers aged from 9 to 14, CRICKET Magazine has delighted and entertained generations of kids with contemporary stories and classic literature from the world’s best writers. Paired with illustrations so beautiful they take your breath away, these fabulously atmospheric vistas of Alison's are set to be a runaway success!
These gorgeous activity sheets have been produced by Scholastic using Barbara's wonderful illustrations to promote the release of 'Beauty and the Very Beastly Beast'! Written by Mark Sperring, with whom Barbara previously worked on ‘Cinderella and her very Bossy Sisters’, this month's release sees Belle take on maybe more than she bargained for when she moves in with the sloppy, scary and irritable beast!
Emily creates whimsical illustrations for children’s publishing and lively patterns for fabric, apparel, stationery, home décor and much more and we are so excited that she has been chosen to be featured in this week's Illustrator Saturday!