Hoot Owl, written by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Jean Jullien, is one of our favourite new picture books this year. On Wednesday 29th April we had a party to celebrate the book at Byron Burger.
We all love burgers here at Walker HQ – who doesn’t?! – but this wasn’t the only reason we chose to have the launch party here. Before the book was made, our lovely Picture Books Publisher, Dee, had read Sean Taylor’s hilarious story about an owl who adopts many disguises in the hope of catching his dinner, but she hadn’t yet found an illustrator to bring the story to life. It was during a visit to Byron Burger that Dee came across one of Byron’s postcards, illustrated by Jean Jullien, and thought that Jean’s art style was the perfect match for Sean’s story. She then went about tracking down Jean to ask him to illustrate Hoot Owl, and the rest, they say, is history!
Here are some photos of Dee, Sean and Jean all together at the party:
Jean has also designed some fabulous Hoot Owl children’s menus and colouring sheets for Byron Burger, which some of our guests had a lot of fun with at the party. You can see these in Byron Burger restaurants until June:
One of the biggest highlights of the night was Sean Taylor treating us to a hilarious live reading of Hoot Owl: Master of Disguise. There’s nothing like hearing a story read by its own author!
Later in the evening, Sean and Jean sat down to sign lots of guests’ copies of the book. In a fun feat of teamwork, Sean signed each book with a lovely, personalised Hoot Owl-inspired message, and then Jean drew a speech bubble around the message and a personalised owl for each reader. We particularly love the owl he drew for Joe, complete with characteristic glasses!
All in all, it was a fabulous night celebrating a brilliant new book – with really scrumptious burgers!