Thursday 8 August 2019

Behind the Scenes with Jarvis!

Count from one to ten in This Little Piggy, or spot eight bright colours in Mary Had a Little Lamb! Two goofy board book twists on classic nursery rhymes from award-winning bookmaker, Jarvis! 

From award-winning bookmaker Jarvis, the creator of Alan’s Big, Scary TeethMrs Mole, I’m Home! and Tropical Terry, comes these fresh, very funny first number and colours books – perfect for sharing whilst wriggling tiny toes! 

Today we have a very special Q&A with the author-illustrator himself:

Where did the ideas for these books come from?

When I started visiting schools and book festivals, I quickly realised I would have to do more than read my latest book. So I started to write poems (sometimes they go down better than the big stories!). Tanya at Walker Books came to an event I did at the Tate Modern and she saw my poem This Little Piggy (a topsy turvy version of the traditional ditty) and she thought it could be a book. So I went away and very quickly wrote Mary Had a Little Lamb to accompany it. The poems very naturally lend themselves to some early learning concepts, so This Little Piggy has a counting theme and Mary Had A Little Lamb has a colours theme. And that's the story behind them: sometimes school visits, bookshops and festivals can be a great testing ground for new bits and bobs. 

Jarvis on a school visit in China.

How did you come up with the style for the illustrations?

When I start a book I generally have no idea what it should look like. I'm not the type of illustrator who creates magic from thin air; I have to try things out. I ummm and arrr (and a bit of AARGH) before I settle on a look. Often the story tells me what it should be like; it just takes me time to get there. I love using traditional media and mixing it with digital. I can never seem to get life into solely digital images, so by mixing charcoal and flat fluorescent colours the style came together and felt lively, natural and fun. 

How I tell stories...

Often when I create books I think of how I will tell it. Telling stories is perhaps my favourite part of being a children's book maker. I like to try and make storytelling interactive and immersive. These board books are so fun to read aloud, full of silly scenarios, sounds and actions, and I look forward to taking Mary had a Little Lamb and This Little Piggy to schools, festivals and libraries. 

You can pick up copies of both of these hilarious books from your local bookshop.

This Little Piggy being enjoyed by Ada, our very own editor Maria's daughter!

Monday 5 August 2019

Top new picture books from Walker Books this August!

Don’t Worry Little Crab

In the rockpool above the sea, live two crabs: Big Crab and Little Crab. Today, they’re going for a dip in the sea. “This is going to be so great!” says Little Crab. But then Little Crab catches a first glimpse of the water... Oh. The waves! They're ENORMOUS. "JEEPERS!" Will Little Crab be brave enough to go in?

From the multi award-winning picture book maker of A Bit LostOh No, George!Shh! We Have a Plan and Goodnight Everyone comes a bold new picture book about building up the courage to try something new.

Ten Little Pigs and Mary Had a Little Lamb

Count from one to ten in This Little Piggy, or spot eight bright colours in Mary Had a Little Lamb! Two goofy board book twists on classic nursery rhymes! 

From award-winning bookmaker Jarvis, the creator of Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, Mrs Mole, I’m Home! and Tropical Terry, comes these fresh, very funny first number and colours books – perfect for sharing whilst wriggling tiny toes! 

What I Like Most

A little girl tells us about all her favourite things, from her light-up shoes, to hot, steamy chips, to her red pencil. But the girl knows that, even as her feet grow, her plate empties, and her pencil shortens, there’s someone she’ll always love … and that is what she likes the very, very most. 

An intimate ode to the unwavering love a child has for their mother, this tender, lyrical story is brought exquisitely to life by Zhu Cheng-Liang, a recipient of a New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award.

Mr Scruff

A wonderful, witty and warm story about the true nature of friendship from award-winning author-illustrator Simon James.

Polly belongs with Molly, Eric belongs with Derek, Perry belongs with Terry – everyone knows that owners and their dogs belong together in their own unique way. But for Poor Mr Scruff, alone in the dogs' home, there's no one – that is until a very special little boy arrives looking for a friend...

Giraffe Problems

From Jory John and Lane Smith, the winner of the 2017 Kate Greenaway Medal, comes a laugh-out-loud companion to the acclaimed Penguin Problems.

Edward the giraffe can't understand why his neck is as long and bendy and ridiculous as it is. No other animal has a neck this absurd. He's tried disguising it, dressing it up, strategically hiding it behind bushes ... anything he can think of. But just when he's exhausted his neck-hiding options, a turtle ambles in and tries to help him understand that his neck has a purpose ... and looks excellent in a bow tie.

We’re Getting a Cat

Join this lovable tomcat as he settles into his new home, gradually learning how to use a litter tray, when he'll be fed and that it's probably better to use a scratching post than to shred the back of Dad's chair. The caption text provides information on feeding, grooming and caring for your cat – and at the end of the book, there's a handy index and bibliography.

Red, Red, Red

Every toddler feels frustrated sometimes, every toddler gets ANGRY. They scream, they shout, they see RED RED RED. Now, in her singularly expressive style, the beloved Polly Dunbar brings us the perfect picture story book to share with those little ones overwhelmed by their emotions; a true-to-life, upbeat story about a toddler tantrum that offers a meditative way to calm them down. “Why not count to ten?” Mum suggests to her son. “One … two … three…”

Pick up copies of all these books at your local bookshop!