Christmas comes but once a year

and when it comes it brings… advent comics! Except when it doesn’t. This year, again, Becky Palmer and I thought we perhaps didn’t have time to do a pointless comic. Then we thought, let’s do TWO. So (traditionally late) here’s one, and there’s the other (so far: more squirrels) over on Becky’s blog.

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BIB and Migrations exhibitions

This week the Biennial of Illustrations (BIB) opens in Bratislava. Amazingly, IBBY UK and ICPBS (International Centre for the Picture Book in Society) have chosen to include The Girl with the Parrot on her Head in the UK submission. From The Girl with the Parrot on her Head
Each country puts forward up to 15 illustrators and work from all the nominated books will be exhibited from 9th September to October 29th at the Slovak National Museum. Some people will win golden apples and other prizes, but those sound extremely bad for your teeth – probably best just to be in the exhibition?

ICPBS and IBBY have also organised two exhibitions at BIB which aim to raise awareness of the experiences of child migrants. The Migrations exhibition is made up of over 300 postcards featuring images of birds and messages from illustrators from all over the world (including mine, below).
Postcard for Migrations exhibitionIf, like me, you can’t make it to Bratislava you can explore the postcards and messages in this interactive map (mine’s pinned to Birmingham so I think it must be done by postmark). The exhibition is expected to tour after BIB. Worcester University Illustration tutors have also created (larger) new work on the theme of Migrations.

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Natalie and Alphonse at Greenwich Book Festival

Photo by Andrew Porter PhotographyOn May 27th I caught the boat to Greenwich Book Festival where I read ALPHONSE, THAT IS NOT OK TO DO! to the excellent people pictured (and excellent others) and then let them loose on the googly eyes and double-sided tape, leading to Most Excellent Fantastic monster finger puppets. There was much innovation in the areas of spots and extending grab-hands. Thanks to Andrew Porter Photography for the brilliant photos, to Greenwich Book Festival and everyone who came.
Photo by Andrew Porter PhotographyPhoto by Andrew Porter PhotographyPhoto by Andrew Porter PhotographyPhoto by Andrew Porter PhotographyPhoto by Andrew Porter PhotographyAll photos © Andrew Porter 2017

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Ezra Jack Keats Awards

Ezra Jack Keats award
I was so extremely happy to hear that The Girl with the Parrot on her Head is an Honor Book in the Ezra Jack Keats Awards. It’s especially lovely because Keats’ books are glorious, and because these awards are given to “books that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world.”

I was sorry to miss the ceremony in Mississippi, but representatives from Candlewick were there and kindly read out my thanks and posted my award – which I had no idea was an actual shiny thing!

Many thanks to the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation (which does all kinds of excellent stuff) and to Walker and Candlewick for publishing this quite strange book.

 

 

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Hatched!

It was really exciting to be invited to exhibit some of the original screenprints from Hilda and the Runaway Baby as part of a group show at the Hive library in Worcester. Hatched! featured illustrations from seven new books by four Illustration tutors at Worcester University: Piet Grobler, Becky Palmer, Stephen Fowler and me. Here are few photos by Steve Waldron:
Hatched! exhibition from above
The Hive is such an amazing space for an exhibition – or to just visit and read in. The children’s library has tunnels under the bookcases and a brilliant workshop space, where Becky Palmer and I ran some vegetable print-making sessions. It turns out you can do incredible things with carrots and cauliflower, so after the workshops we added the children’s prints to the main exhibition. Here are an owl and a rabbit followed by a purple bear.
Owl and rabbit Purple bearBanner printing

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