Wednesday, 13 July 2011
When I posted about a visit to the Fry Gallery in Saffron Walden recently, I never expected to find myself posting again so soon about this beautiful town. Yet I couldn't be more thrilled to tell you that the Uttlesforde Orchestra and I will be collaborating on a children's concert. It will take place at the Friends' School Hall on October 16th at 3pm. The programme will include Prokofiev's immortal "Peter & the Wolf", selections from Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake", Curzen's "Robin Hood" suite and - unknown to me - Patterson's setting of Hilaire Belloc's "Rebecca who Slammed Doors for Fun and Persished Miserably"!
It's a small hall and tickets are limited to just 250. So if you are local and want to go, book early!
This event is part of a superb Literary Festival, organised by Harts Bookshop, called Words in Walden, and I'm delighted to be participating.
For more information, CLICK HERE!
Sunday, 10 July 2011
A crazy few days have taken me first to Cheltenham, for a magical Ella Bella concert at the Music festival (you can read about that on my Ella Bella site by CLICKING HERE) and then to London for the very first - and completely triumphant - Pop Up Festival. This is the brainchild of Dylan Calder, and it's undoubtedly the best children's book festival I've ever seen. Not that I saw that much... as the main Festival was in the lovely, hidden gardens of Coram's Fields, near King's Cross. I was just across the road at the Brunswick Centre, behind the Renoir Cinema.
And there, on a stage in broad daylight the giant pop up book made a few weeks ago (see here) was put up and children came in waves to grab outsized pens and fill it with pictures and colours and stories. We had dragons and princesses and castles and witches and a number of maurauding black panthers courtesy of Raphael, whose father runs the Splats Theatre Company (and who is creating the theatre version of Katie's Picture Show). Yes the whole thing was deliciously mad, and the turning of the pages and the revealing of the pop ups never failed to bring gasps of delight from the children.
It was lovely to see so many friends, and some of my own old students from Cambridge Art School (Children's Book MA) as well (and yes, I made them add their own talents to the project! The book contains original pieces by Nicola Killen, Susannah Moores, Emma Symons' children (!), and Patrick Kennedy (and son).
The best bit? seeing children sitting contentedly INSIDE a giant book, crawling through the pages, and through the cut out doorway, brandishing pens and losing themselves in concentrated effort. Some spent hours lost in a reverie of their own creation. And when it was done it was taken to Coram's Fields and set outside the bookshop tent, where it became a tunnel, a slide, a climbing frame, a spur to storytelling... and of course what it was always supposed to be: a giant pop up book for a giant pop up festival!
Monday, 4 July 2011
This week, a very happy occasion: the republication of "Boy", a book which means a very great deal to me and which has been unavailable for many years. I wrote about it before (see HERE to read the history), and now I've made a little film, to celebrate publication day (Thursday). The film is just me showing how I used pastels to make the illustrations, and you can watch it on YOUTUBE. It's worth a watch just to see me grappling with one of my antique gramophones...
Oh, and if you want to own your very own copy, it's already available on Amazon (although I would always recommend supporting your local bookshop).
So if you have a toddler, who is just exploring the world; if you have a child who crawls into your bed for warmth in the morning. Or if you have a boy who is trying to learn to share: take a look. It's one of the books I am most proud of and it was truly written (and illustrated) from the heart!
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