Monday, 12 September 2016

Brand new from Jill Murphy: Meltdown!

Earlier this year we celebrated 30 years of Jill Murphy's picture book classic Five Minutes Peace, and this month we're delighted to share Jill's brand new and perfectly observed family comedy - Meltdown

A baby bunny rabbit and her mum on the supermarket shop… 
a shop which doesn’t quite go to plan!

Ruby the rabbit likes to be helpful but she often gets a bit overexcited… especially in the supermarket. Crisps are so CRUNCHY! Tins of beans are fun to ROLL! And when Ruby sees a cake, a cake in the shape of a cute pink piggy, she wants it… she wants it now. 

Introducing Ruby, a completely lovable new bunny, Jill Murphy observes the oh-so familiar supermarket sulk with all of her trademark warmth and wit, and perfectly depicts family life – in all its hectic glory – once again.

"The sheer joy of a Jill Murphy picture book lies in the way that she successfully conjures up the frustration and exhaustion of raising small children while infusing each adventure with unconditional love. Her books about the Large elephant family are modern classics and this latest deserves similar status.

Mummy rabbit takes toddler Ruby to the supermarket to ‘help’ her do the shopping but inevitably the outing descends into a terrifying, embarrassing, tantrum-filled nightmare.

Ruby’s metamorphosis from willing, trilling assistant into mad-eyed, arch-backed demon is brilliantly handled both in words and pictures and the warm, witty ending will draw a tender sigh of recognition from all parents."

The Daily Mail

About the Author

As a Child

Jill was born and brought up in London and says that she can’t remember a time she wasn’t a storyteller/illustrator. “My earliest memory (my mum tells me I was two), is sitting on the kitchen floor surrounded by sheets of drawings.” By the age of six, Jill was stapling her own little illustrated storybooks together – her mum kept them all and she still has them today! “It’s great fun to see them all these years later,” she says. “You can see how my handwriting and drawing improved as time went by.” Jill loved primary school, where, she says “I could always draw my way out of trouble if we had a tricky history project!” – but she went to a very strict academic convent which she hated for the first year. “The nuns didn’t care that I could draw fantastic pictures,” she says. “Where was my physics homework!?”

As an Adult

Jill left school at sixteen, and went on to attend both Chelsea Art School and Croydon Art School. Two years later, she finished her first novel The Worst Witch, about a little witch who doesn’t fit in at her new school – a story she says was heavily based on her experiences at the convent. She sent it off to three big London publishers, who all turned it down, and Jill “put it in a drawer and decided to concentrate on other things instead.” After a spell working as a nanny and in a children’s home, which she loved, Jill had a phone call from a small publisher interested in The Worst Witch. It was printed when she was twenty-four, sold out almost immediately, and Jill knew for sure she wanted to follow a career as an author/illustrator.

As an Artist

Jill has written and illustrated numerous books since The Worst Witch was published, including three more books about little witch Mildred Hubble. Jill’s work has won her numerous prizes and awards; her first picture book, Peace at Last was Commended for the Kate Greenaway Medal and she was shortlisted for the same Medal for A Quiet Night In, the first of the Mr and Mrs Large picture books about the endearing domestic chaos of an elephant family. The other titles are A Piece of Cake, Five Minutes Peace (Winner of the Best Books for Babies Award and shortlisted for the Children’s Book Award), All in One Piece (Highly Commended for the Kate Greenaway Award and shortlisted for the Children’s Book Award) and Mr Large in Charge. The stories have now been adapted for television. The Last Noo-noo, about a small monster called Marlon, won three awards, including the Smarties Book Prize, and Marlon returns again in the acclaimed All For One.

“Jill Murphy deserves a constellation of gold stars for consistently writing picture books that please children and enrapture parents” 

The Observer