Friday, 14 December 2012

In the studio with Helen Oxenbury



Last month, we had the privilege of being invited to the studio of much loved author and illustrator Helen Oxenbury. Helen made us feel at home at once, welcoming us with tea and biscuits and showing us around the place where she illustrated the beautiful books that so many of us grew up with. We admired everything from the well-used drawing desk scattered with paintbrushes, to Helen's beautiful collection of paintings and cosy seating area set around a crackling fire...



We decided that the experience was too good not to share, so we decided to capture it all for you to see! Take a look at this video and step behind the scenes with Helen - see original artwork from classics from We're Going on a Bear Hunt to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and discover the inspiration behind Helen's beautiful picture books...





Monday, 10 December 2012

Not my hat!


Two months ago, to celebrate the launch of the quirky new picture book by Jon Klassen This Is Not My Hat, we sent 100 sparkly blue bowler hats around the country and we waited to see where they would end up...





We asked anyone who came across a hat to tweet us their pictures using
the hashtag #notmyhat, and here are just a few of the photos that came back...





It was certainly a close call, but in the end we decided to take our hats off to Topping & Company bookshop, who featured the hat in their shop and shared it with their customers. We'd also like to give a huge congratulations to The Lamb Bookshop who won our This Is Not My Hat window display competition with their hat-tastic window, complete with paper seaweed and lots of hats...

 


Thank you to everyone who sent us their lovely hat pictures! If you still haven't read Jon Klassen's deadpan tale, take a look at the trailer here and get 25% off This Is Not My Hat this Christmas on the Walker website.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Editor's picks for Christmas



Our picture book editor Maria Tunney is back, and this time with exclusive top tips on the perfect page-turners for your little ones this Christmas. So if you're starting your festive shopping this weekend, here are a few top titles that will bring fun, friendship and adventure together under the tree...


I’m back … with more picture book chat! And this lot of books are all about “finding” − finding a job, finding a friend, finding yourself and even finding some peace and quiet!



How to Get a Job, By Me, The Boss is a fabulous laugh-out-loud book from Sally Lloyd-Jones and Sue Heap, the creative duo behind How to Be a Baby, by Me, the Big Sister and How to Get Married, by Me, the Bride. It is the perfect book for challenging economic times. If you’ve ever been through the interview process you will know just how gut wrenchingly painful they can be. Well, this book is about getting back to basics. So throw away that Interviews for Dummies guide because, according to the very wise narrator in this story, all you need do is the following:



At the end of the interview you say, “Please may I have the job?”

And The Boss says, “OK, here it is.”




For us here in picture books, one of the most joyous things is to discover and nurture truly original new people, particularly author-illustrators. Icelandic illustrator Birgitta Sif is one such person! We signed her up last year after seeing her work in the Cambridge MA catalogue and now she is publishing her very first picture book with us, Oliver. Hurrah! The Oliver in her story is a little boy very much absorbed in his own imaginary world, having adventures with his stuffed toys − his only friends − and he feels “different” but not for long… Birgitta’s Oliver is a beautiful tribute to the power of friendship and, more than that, it shows us that it’s alright to be solitary, a bit different and a bit goofy. (Top tip #2: when you look back through the pages of this book, keep an eye out for the little girl in red, and for the tiny mouse as well…)

Watch our behind the scenes video and hear Birgitta talk about how the story came about.






Another exciting newcomer to the Walker picture book list this year was the very talented Ed Vere who has illustrated a tremendous text by Irish writer Malachy Doyle. Funny, familial and so very warm − Too Noisy is a book about noise with HEART and it speaks to every quiet, thoughtful, overwhelmed middle child who has ever felt a little lost amongst the hullabaloo of their own family. Between them, Malachy and Ed have managed to create a whole new species: The Bungles. And from Grandpa Bungle right down to Fitz and Finn, the Bungle Babies, they all like to make NOISE! We’re very excited about this book and love, love, love the way that Ed has populated the pages with glorious little details and plenty of birdies and bunny rabbits, making the Bungle world a very wonderful one indeed.




 So, what I would recommend is: find a nice cosy spot and spend a while with these great authors and illustrators − with Sally Lloyd-Jones, Sue Heap, Birgitta Sif, Malachy Doyle and Ed Vere. In spending time with them, I hope that you will “find” something among these titles that speaks to you, something that make you want to read them … over and over again.


Join in the fun and download your free activity sheets here!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Half term activity sheets


If you're stuck for ideas this half term, get creative with your little ones and tuck into a brand new selection of free activity sheets, perfect
for keeping your little ones busy on chilly autumn afternoons...



Draw your best friend with Oliver, practice counting with One Gorilla, find your way out of the maze with Charley's First Night or colour in the fish with This Is Not My Hat. And that's just the beginning! For lots more free activities, click here









Monday, 8 October 2012

Jon Klassen is back!








Today is the first exciting day of the Jon Klassen This Is Not My Hat global blog tour, visiting eight brilliant blogs over the next ten days. Stay tuned for a series of reviews, competitions and exclusive insider interviews, as bloggers dive below the surface and uncover the truth behind the making of Klassen's latest wry tale of crime and punishment...





Follow the tour





8th October: Playing by the Book


9th October: 100 Scope Notes



11th October: Elizabeth O. Dulernba


12th October: Wahm-Bam!


15th October: Lost in the Library


16th October: My Little Bookcase


17th October: A Year of Reading 





Not your hat?





To celebrate the launch This Is Not My Hat, we're challenging readers to take a photo of themselves wearing somebody else's hat and to share it with us, either by emailing it to us at marketing@walker.co.uk with Not My Hat as the subject line, or by Tweeting it to us @WalkerBooksUK using the hashtag #notmyhat. The best picture will WIN a This Is Not My Hat goody bag, including a signed copy of the book, plus a gorgeous poster, postcards, stickers and an exclusive This Is Not My Hat baseball cap, all in a stylish tote bag! Competition ends on 31st October. Terms and conditions.





Friday, 5 October 2012

Finding your place



This month we are really excited to be publishing Oliver, the debut picture book from Icelandic author/illustrator Birgitta Sif. Beautifully illustrated and lovingly told, Oliver is a story about being different and finding your place. Birgitta tells Picture Book Picnic about her journey to becoming an illustrator and how writing Oliver helped her find her own place...













When I started working on Oliver, I was studying for my Masters degree at Cambridge School of Art. I loved my time there! And the program was something I didn't know I'd been missing till I found it (and the many people I came to love and cherish during my time there). Finally, I was surrounded by friends who liked the same things and talked the same language as me, projects and mentors who interested me beyond anything I'd ever been apart of before! Having always felt a bit different, I'd finally found a place and people who were a bit different, too (in the same way as me). One time, we were all sitting around, and I realized we were discussing different types of erasers (how silly!). But it was quite funny. And I remember looking around and I knew I had found friends for life. It was also the same time I met Thor, my partner, and things seemed to click right together, as if I'd always known him. I think life can be amazing like that, stumbling across something you didn’t even know you needed. I had finally found my home. In many ways, Thor is my Olivia.  

 





I spend a lot of time sketching and doodling. And in one of those doodles, Oliver came about. Since this is my first book, I don’t really have a method yet. But for Oliver, I began by making thumbnails on little pieces of paper that I had cut out. Then shifted them around like a jigsaw puzzle, often redrawing and redrawing and doodling again until it came together to form the story I had in my head. I tried to leave some room from the sketch stage to the final art, to allow for things to happen while I recreate to make the final artwork. It’s important to me that the drawings are still hand drawn. Once I have the final drawing drawn, I scan it in and add colour in Photoshop. This means lot of layers. A LOT of layers, hundreds and hundreds  I’m rubbish at watercolour, and Photoshop is the way I found works for me for now. It probably takes me longer to do the colouring in Photoshop, but I like how I can change the colour of something if I change my mind. And sometimes deciding if a couch should be yellow or blue or purple or green, takes too much time.. OH there are endless possibilities of colours. However, with watercolour there is usually just one option for me.. muddy brown ;)  


My journey with Oliver was long and hard but it was the most exciting thing in my professional career so far. I worked with such talented people at Walker Books who helped me so much. I have learned a lot and am so excited to start working on my next project. Oliver is a big part of my life and I hope that you will love him as much as I do.







Birgitta lives in London with her partner Thor and her beautiful new baby Soley. 





Buy your copy of Oliver here.





Friday, 28 September 2012

Could you write the perfect bedtime story?




Walker Books, Mumsnet and Gransnet have just launched a competition to find the best children’s bedtime stories written by parents and grandparents. The ten winning entries will be published by Walker Books in The Mumsnet Book of Bedtime Stories. 



Together with Mumsnet, the UK’s busiest website for parents, and sister website Gransnet, Walker have launched a nationwide competition to find the ten best bedtime stories for publication in the Mumsnet Book of Bedtime Stories slated for release in October 2013. 

The judging panel, led by Children’s Writer and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, will compile a shortlist of twenty stories that will be made available online for Mumsnet and Gransnet users to vote for their favourites. The final ten winning authors will be announced on 18 February 2013, Each will win £500 and their story will be illustrated and published in the Mumsnet Book of Bedtime Stories published by Walker Books.
 


The illustrated gift book will be aimed at the under sevens and the judging panel will be looking for fresh voices, original contemporary ideas and, most important of all, stories that children will love.

 
To find out how to enter the competition, visit Mumsnet or Gransnet. 
 


Happy writing!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Oh No, George! shortlisted for Roald Dahl Funny Prize



The shortlist for the fantastic Roald Dahl Funny Prize, which is celebrating its fifth birthday this year, was announced yesterday. And... we're ecstatic to announce that our very own Chris Haughton is on the shortlist for his whimsical tale of George, the hapless dog who just can't behave! Well done to Chris (and to George!) You can see the full list of shortlisted books on the Booktrust website.



If you haven't read Oh No, George! before, why not watch the trailer for it just to the right of this blog post? And if you have read it, tell us if you'll be rooting for it to win the Prize! 



The Roald Dahl prize aims to promote laughter and humour as a feel-good factor when reading, to draw attention to funny books as readable and enjoyable books and to reward authors and illustrators who write and illustrate books using humour. Visit the Booktrust website to read what some of the judges, including broadcaster and comedian Mel Giedroyc and We're Going on a Bear Hunt author Michael Rosen, had to say about the shortlisted entries.



Congratulations once again to Chris! 





Saturday, 8 September 2012

Hold on to your hats!



When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue top hat (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it’s a good thing that enormous fish won’t wake up. And even if he does, it’s not as though he’ll ever know what happened…will he?

Yes, you've guessed it - the wait is almost over for This Is Not My Hat, the brand new picture book by award-winning author and illustrator Jon Klassen! If you’re as excited as we are about this tiny fish in a blue bowler hat, then take a glimpse of what’s to come in this quirky trailer made by Jon Klassen himself.








 




Be the first to read This Is Not My Hat and pre-order your copy here.

Stay tuned next month for an exclusive guest blog post by Jon Klassen about the making of the book...

Available 9 October 2012.


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Illustrating Anna's World





Illustrator Lauren Tobia transports us to amazing Africa, sharing with us her inspiration for illustrating the beautiful world of Anna Hibiscus.





Hello My name is Lauren and I have the fun of illustrating the world of Anna Hibiscus. Anna Hibiscus lives in amazing Africa with her extended family in a compound in a large African city. The stories are written by Atinuke (who is pretty amazing herself) I have had the fun of listening to her storytelling! My “job” is to read all about Anna’s adventures, lean back in my chair and imagine! Atinuke’s stories take me to Anna’s special world in a busy African city (a bit like Lagos) full of people, taxis, scooters, shops and market stalls. Inside all this commotion is a large leafy compound where her mother and father, grandfather and aunties and uncles live and right in the middle most importantly is Anna’s mango tree. 







I have been illustrating Anna’s world for a few years now and have had loads of fun imagining Amazing Anna her family and the city she lives in. This is an early drawing of Anna’s city, it eventually became the endpapers for the book as a sort of map so that I could explain the beautiful craziness of the city she lives in.




I have a bit of an admission to make …I have never been
to this part of Africa! Atinuke comes from Nigeria so at the beginning I
thought I should do a bit of reading and found quite a lot of
inspiration from watching Nigerian pop videos and an awful lot of
imagining. Atinuke herself was also always useful for odd questions
about clothes or whether the road should have a pavement or not! But
most of it was done chewing my pencil and just staring out of the
window. 





Illustrating a book is a bit of a team effort and between me and the talented team at Walker Books who questioned me, made suggestions and had many conversations over a slice of cake and mug of tea! It must be said a lot of the tea and cake was also eaten in my studio where I sketched the pictures on big sheets of layout paper and much scribbling. My studio is in the front bedroom in my house and I can look out at what’s going on in the street, the antics of the seagulls and the occasional hot air balloon that floats by. I share my studio with my two Jack Russell’s Tilly and Poppy who when they are not barking or running after each other sleep in a box of blankets behind me. 







I draw the images in pencil so I can be as free as I can and then rub out the bits that don’t work so well or add other drawings on the computer. They eventually end up as sometimes one drawing and sometimes a huge collage of pictures that work together to make a page. I use layers of colour on the computer to build up the finished artwork and send it all by magic (or the internet ) to Julie at Walker who works her designer spells and hurrah! Anna Hibiscus is a picture book…I hope you like it! 













Join the amazing world of Anna Hibiscus with these free downloadable activity sheets.





Get your hand on a copy of the beautiful Anna Hibiscus' Song by Atinuke and Lauren Tobia here.


Thursday, 9 August 2012

A Picnic in the Sky






Over the past 10 days, we’ve enjoyed a marathon of picnics taking place all over the country, each with it's own twist. There's been creative cooking, stacks of story-telling, and a range of fun-packed activities from paper boat racing to butterfly searching. As we come to the end of the Picture Book Picnic blog tour, the team at Walker Books decided to finish up with our very own picnic, on the roof of Walker Towers! 





Overlooking sunny Vauxhall on a slightly blustery day (and by blustery, I mean we spent a good amount of time chasing plastic cups!), we set up our urban picnic with some make-shift grass, a bag full of sandwiches, a gingham rug and lots of picture books. No teddy bear’s picnic is complete without a teddy bear (or three!), so we couldn’t resist having a few special guests at our picnic, including Maisy, Nutbrown Hare and of course the lovely Walker Bear himself. Wally also made a surprise appearance – see if you can spot him!  




 





After tucking in to a feast of bear biscuits, yummy sandwiches and a scrumptious selection of fruit, it was time for Walker Bear to read us a few stories. We all gathered round and listened to George Flies South by Simon James. This beautifully illustrated picture book is about George, a brave little bird who loses his nest but eventually finds his wings. In the story, an enormous gust of
wind blows George's nest out of the tree, launching him on a journey through the city, under bridges,
over buildings and into the unknown.  This inspirational story is great for little children who are learning to do something for the first time, and perfect for reading outside, where there were plenty of birds to spot blowing around in the wind!


 







We then read A Walk in London by Salvatore Rubbino, and had fun spotting some London landmarks from our rooftop spot, including the Shard and the London Eye.














Our Marketing Manager couldn’t make it to the rooftop picnic, so instead she organised her very own Picture Book Picnic with her friends and family in the park. Everyone tucked into a yummy selection of picture books including
Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton, and had lots of fun  with butterfly face-painting and colouring-in activity sheets.











Join in the fun and hold your very own picture book picnic this summer with our free downloadable picnic pack and a great selection of free activity sheets. Happy picnicking, from the team at Walker!
 















Monday, 30 July 2012

10 picnics, 10 blogs, 10 books, 10 days!





Over the next 10 days, join us for a marathon of picnics as we take the Picture Book Picnic on tour across 10 fantastic blogs. Each blogger will be holding their very own picnic complete with yummy treats, creative activities and a tasty selection of picture books. So join in the fun and pick up some ideas for your own picnic!  Download your very own free picnic pack here.




The blog tour kicks off with Playing by the Book, including tree climbing with Anna Hibiscus, paper boat racing with Arthur's Dream Boat and creative cake-making with Oh No, George!



Join in the fun on the Picture Book Picnic blog tour:



30th July:  www.playingbythebook.net
31st July: www.rainydaymum.co.uk
1st August: www.amothersramblings.com
2nd August: www.theboyandme.co.uk
3rd August: www.beingamummy.co.uk
6th August: www.deepinmummymatters.com
7th August: www.wahm-bam.org
8th August: www.mummymishaps.blogspot.com
9th August: www.arewenearlythereyetmummy.com
10th August: www.picturebookpicnic.co.uk





Friday, 20 July 2012

How To Get a Job, by Me, The Boss.








What do your little ones want to be when they grow up? Sally Lloyd-Jones covers everything from President of the World to Balloon Holder in her exclusive blog post about her new picture book, How To Get a Job, by Me, The Boss.






What can I say?





When I was 2—long, long ago, back in the
time of caves, back in the time when dinosaurs ruled the earth and parents left
children in cars—my sister (a fresh plumpy newborn) and I were left in the back
of our Humber car while our parents popped out—just for a second.





When they left us, I was sitting on the
back seat, and my sister was in the carrycot.





When they came back, I was in the carrycot
and my sister was on the floor.





So it was only a matter of time before I
took further revenge on my three little sisters… and wrote a shocking expose.









Actually, when I say I wrote it—that’s not
strictly true. I started out writing it, but then this six-year old
self-appointed baby expert narrator Big Sister totally took over. And she’s
been writing them ever since. (She has three books out now.)





She said things and I wrote them down. I am
just the scribe, really.





How To Be A Baby, By Me, The Big Sister is filled with helpful advice and tips and all the reasons why it’s
better not to be a baby (you don’t know if you are a boy or a girl, you don’t
read books you eat them; you don’t carry a backpack you go in one, stuff like
that). Though by the end she can’t help it, she has to admit it is actually sometimes quite nice being a baby
because everyone hugs and kisses you—and having a baby brother isn’t always
awful because they get bigger and then you can play with them.





Her second book is called: How To Get Married, By Me, The Bride and in it the self-appointed bridal expert
addresses the finer points of pulling off the perfect wedding (outfits you can
wear, who is suitable to marry, who isn’t so suitable) and now she turns her
attention to the job market and here comes everything you need to ace the
interview, and land the perfect job in this handy manual—How To Get a Job, byMe, The Boss.




It is packed with all kinds of helpful
advice and tips. She is very thorough and covers all kinds of jobs: large ones
(like “President of the World”) and small ones (like “Balloon Holder”) and even
includes some startling revelations. For instance, how very disappointing to
read: “Sitting in your chair eating cookies” is NOT a job. (I wanted that job.
Is it really not a job?) The Boss even does a sample interview—and helps you
conduct yourself appropriately, advising on what is appropriate to bring to the
interview (your CV) and what isn’t (your whole family, your gerbils) and what
is good to do during an interview and what isn’t (sit on the boss’ lap).





She is highly encouraging and helpful in
everything. In fact, she has so much wisdom to impart that even grown ups are
reading her books now—Brides and Grooms to be are picking up tips from How to Get Married, By Me, The Bride and anyone newly looking for work—or who
doesn’t yet know what they want to be when they grow up will probably learn a
great deal from How To Get A Job, By Me, The Boss.





I know I did. 






(She hasn’t told me yet if she has another
book coming—if I have a job as her scribe. But that doesn’t matter.  For now I have plenty to do. First of all,
I’ve got to go to my chair and sit in it and eat some
cookies.)










How To Get a Job, by Me, The Boss by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Sue Heap is available from all good booksellers.



 Get a taste of what it's like to be the boss with these fun-filled activity sheets!






Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Teddy's Bear's Picnic




This week, the US celebrated National Teddy Bear’s Picnic Day. What a great excuse to hold your own picnic (indoors or out!) with our free tasty picnic pack.

When it comes to a Teddy Bear’s Picnic, not even the rain can spoil the fun! Picnics can be just as fun inside, so roll out your picnic rug and download our free picnic pack for all you need to create your perfect indoor picnic. 




Treat your little ones to a picnic story and pick your favourite teddy bear book; we recommend the classic We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.


Let us know your favourite bear stories by Monday 16th July and you’ll have a chance to win one of our Picture Book Picnic goody bags, including a poster, a set of gorgeous illustrated postcards, stickers, a bear cookie cutter and a bumper pack of colourful activity sheets, all in a stylish cotton tote bag! Just email your answer, name and address to marketing@walker.co.uk  


terms and conditions


Happy picnicking!







Sunday, 8 July 2012

Meet Pickwick the pigeon!








Thank you to everyone who entered our competition last month to name the resident Walker pigeon; we had a hamper full of brilliant entries but in the end the prize went to Jazzmine B who has officially named the pigeon Pickwick!





With the rain threatening to stick around for another week, Pickwick is staying put in the nest for now. If the rain's got you housebound too, check out our free downloadable activity sheets to keep your little ones busy until the sun comes back.





Stay tuned later this month for more chances to win Picture Book Picnic goody bags in our picture book blog tour...

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Name the Walker Pigeon!







Give a big warm welcome to the new arrival here at Walker Towers - our very own pigeon! 




Over the past few weeks, a little pigeon has been busy building a big nest right outside our window, making a new home alongside the picture books and post-it notes. To welcome it into the Walker family, we thought it only fair that we give it a name! There are obviously many wonderful names out there suitable for a pigeon, so we thought we'd leave it up to you to decide...






If you or your little ones have got the perfect name for our pigeon-in-residence, send us a tweet @WalkerBooksUK or drop an email to marketing@walker.co.uk. The best name will win a copy of The Duckling Gets A Cookie!? by Mo Willems and a Picture Book Picnic goody bag full of activity sheets, postcards, stickers and a poster. Happy tweeting!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Losing your first tooth...





Illustrator Sarah Fox-Davies gives us a
glimpse into the wonderful world of Little Beaver, and shares some of her original
sketches for her new
book
Little Beaver and the Big Front Tooth.








What did the beaver say to the tree? 

“Nice gnawing you.”





 I have discovered that one of the best trees to gnaw (if
you’re a beaver) is the aspen, which has tasty bark, and grows near the lakes
and ponds where beavers live.






If you’re a beaver, you can eat the bark of the aspen. You
can cut down the tree with your sharp front teeth, and use it to built a dam,
or make a beaver lodge to live in.




















































I like to search for this kind of information when I'm illustrating a
book. The characters are important, but their surroundings can be
interesting, too. 




















If you met him before in Little Beaver and The Echo, you will know that Little Beaver lives by the edge of a big pond.





This time one of his big front teeth is loose. How will he be able to eat bark, and do all the other things that beavers do? Little Beaver starts to panic. Is he really a beaver at all?





Luckily,
there are other animals living around the pond who are not so confused,
especially Wise Old Beaver, who seems to have answers to all Little
Beaver's questions about teeth.





To illustrate Little Beaver and the Big Front Tooth, I started by doing small sketches with a pen. You can see some of them here.





















Then I drew the finished pictures with pencil, and painted them with
watercolour. After the small sketches, we made a few changes to some of
the scenes.





























For fun puzzles and games with Little Beaver and his friends, have a go at our activity sheets! 



Little Beaver and The Big Front Tooth by Amy MacDonald  is available to buy here.





Thursday, 7 June 2012

Free adorable activity sheets


This week, we're very excited about the arrival of the charming new picture book by Amy MacDonald and Sarah Fox Davies, Little Beaver and the Big Front Tooth. The hugely anticipated follow-up to the popular Little Beaver and the Echo! takes Little Beaver on a search for his true identity, meeting LOTS of different animals along the way!





To join in Little Beaver's adventures, download our free adorable animal activity sheets, including spot the difference, matching pairs and identify the animal. Simply click here to get your free pack.





Later this month, go behind the scenes with illustrator Sarah Fox Davies in an exclusive guest blog post about the making of the book...

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Win a Picture Book Picnic goody bag!







This month we are giving away 10 tasty Picture Book Picnic book bags, filled with enough treats to keep your little ones entertained throughout the longest picnic or quiet afternoon. Each bag includes a poster, a set of gorgeous illustrated postcards, stickers, a bear cookie cutter and a bumper pack of colourful activity sheets, all in a stylish cotton tote bag!




To enter, just fill in your details below before 30th June.




Friday, 18 May 2012

Tasty activities for the weekend!


This weekend, we have some brand new tasty activity sheets for your little ones to get stuck into!


Get baking with Duckling and Pigeon with our delicious cookie recipe! And while you're waiting for your cookies to bake, keep busy with some of our other fun-filled activity sheets such as 'design your own cookie' and 'count the cookie'!



Don't forget to send us a photo of the cookies you've baked and we'll post them up on the blog - we'll even send the person with the best-looking cookies a fun packed Duckling Gets a Cookie goody bag including stickers, postcards, a cookie cutter and a copy of the book! Send your photos to marketing@walker.co.uk



So dig out your aprons and simply click here to download your free activity sheets. Happy baking everyone!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Capital letters, cookies and being cool...





In part two of our Picture Book Picnic takeover by editor Maria Tunney, discover just what it is that makes Mo Willems' characters so quirky, hilarious and yet adorable...







Yelling


Mo writes in capital letters a LOT. If anyone follows our Twitter then they will know that we also have a particular penchant for writing in capital letters … for EMPHASIS. So, when we are VERY EXCITED we write in caps. With loads of exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mo’s characters also throw themselves about very dramatically and do plenty of yelling. The Pigeon yells: “I ASK FOR THINGS ALL THE TIME!” and in the Elephant and Piggie book I am Invited to a Party they yell, “WE MUST BE READY!” Mo’s characters tend to bellow when they are at the point of “all-is-lost” or “this-is-so-great-I-can’t-control-myself”. These are both good times to holler and shout, we must agree. 











Duckling


She goes scooty-scoot-scoot with her little webbed feet and she goes flippy-flip-flap with her tiny duckling wings. She is the adorable arch-nemesis of the Pigeon. Why? Well, the pigeon demands things ALL THE TIME but with her bright twinkling eyes and impeccable manners, Duckling simply asks for a cookie and … she gets it! This is enough to send the Pigeon right to the edge of rage! But as innocent as this little duckling looks, the last spread in The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? reveals a hint of a very shrewd manipulator who knows EXACTLY how to get what she wants. Respect. 











Parents Love Mo






















We had an author in the office recently who said that he has one rule when it comes to reading books at bedtime for his three children: “It has to be a book that I like to read, too.” Well, Mo Willems’ picture books are just right for adults. Nobody is perfect and these books are full of tiny crises (Trixie losing her Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie struggling to find the right clothes for a party, Pigeon lashing out at not being able to drive the bus) but, all the while, they are underpinned by true hilarity. Mo himself says: "I want parents to be engaged, and I want them to laugh, because then it's cool […] I think that sometimes parents forget that they are the coolest people in the world to kids ... so if they're enjoying reading a book, suddenly the kid is going to say, 'Wow, reading books is awesome!'”
Reading books IS awesome.
And do you know who is else is awesome? Mo Willems. True dat.




Get your hands on a copy of the brand new, hilarious Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems here.