I am having a gap. In a gap it is best to do THINGS. THINGS can include working on stories that nobody wants yet (maybe they are too weird or long, maybe nobody has seen them), and drawing, and seeing how monkeys work as screenprints.
By which means I learn the shocking truth that better-drawn monkeys make better screenprints. So the one with the umbrella stays insipid.
The Girl with the Parrot on her Head has been out in the world for two days now, stomping about, sneaking into bookshops. Already Julia Eccleshare has written about the book at LoveReading4Kids where it’s also debut of the month! EXCITING TIMES. I’ve written about the process of making The Girl with the Parrot on her Head over on Walker’s blog Picture Book Party (where you can also find out how to make a parrot, or SOMETHING ELSE, to live on your head).
Two days before publication we had an amazing launch party at Daunt Books in Hampstead (thanks to Trudi Esburger for the better photos). If I’d put as much thought into the speaking part as the snackfoods I might have said something sensible. We had bears, hula hoops, not-actually-broken-umbrellas and truly incredible wolf biscuits by my cake-genius friend Emily of Love & Cake.
We also had a lot of lovely people and a counter covered in books. In a weird reversal of my expectations, we ran out of books and had wine left over. It was totally predictable, however, that the wolves all vanished in no time at all.
Here are my entirely brilliant Editor and Designer from Walker Books:
Me drawing in books (when does it stop feeling like defacing school property?):
And illustrators! Some of the many excellent friends, family and book-people who made it so grand:
Very many enormous thanks to everyone who helped and all who came along!
Follow Emily of the wolf biscuits or on Instagram.
Read about the making of The Girl with the Parrot on her Head at Picture Book Party.
My first picturebook is published TODAY by Walker Books. Hurray!
Here is a heap of my first book, The Girl with the Parrot on her Head, published by Walker Books on February 5th – which now, finally, actually feels quite soon.
Many exciting things will happen around the launch to help introduce the parrot, and the Isabel under its feet. For starters, I’ll be writing about the process of making the book over on Walker’s Picture Book Party blog. Then during February half term I’ll be working with children in Chester, making animals to go on our heads and incredible cardboard dens, as Resident Illustrator at Wayword festival. I’ll also give a talk and reading, document the festival on the Wayword blog AND do a picturebook jam with Kate Pankhurst! See: MANY THINGS!
Details of further events will follow soon – including something at House of Illustration which I think will be GRAND.