I made these two gifs to celebrate the publication of my fourth picture book, I DO NOT LIKE BOOKS ANYMORE! This is Natalie and Alphonse’s second adventure, following ALPHONSE, THAT IS NOT OK TO DO! and is all about what happens when Natalie starts learning to read, and how she and Alphonse manage to carry on enjoying books and stories in their own way.
I only started making gifs again a couple of months ago – you can find a few others on my Instagram. Alphonse in his fairy costume comes from a part of the book where he and Natalie dress up to play “stories they remembered or made up.”
If you’d like to know more about the book and how I made it, have a look at Walker Books’ Instagram which I took over for publication week. I also have a couple of events coming up soon, and am busy making window displays – this one was at Jaffe and Neale, a bookshop-cafe in Chipping Norton, and it will be moving to their Stow shop in a few weeks too.
Last weekend I went all the way to Scotland to paint a window and fill it with cardboard monsters – now there’s a thing I never could have imagined I would do. The window belonged to Mainstreet Trading Company, a beautiful book (and cake and soup and many thing) shop in St Boswells. I arrived with fourteen brushes, three kinds of tape, two kinds of glue, two kinds of string and four rolled-up paper monsters, feeling fairly daunted by the idea of making a window display worth bringing someone to Scotland for.
First I had to mount the monsters on cardboard (running out of both kinds of glue) and cut them out with a scalpel.
Then I convinced them to stand or hang in the window (thanks to both kinds of string).
And (now in a panic about having used up most of the day without actually PAINTING THE WINDOW), I sort of managed to get the smaller Alphonse to eat a copy of the actual book.
Finally I got around to using two of my fourteen brushes, and Mainstreet’s window pens, to help Natalie and Alphonse decorate the window. I did some of the drawings with my left hand, as I did for the monsters’ drawings in the book, and perhaps I should’ve done left-handed painting – except I think I’d still be there now (it took six and a half hours as it was)
and it was important to leave time for signing books and eating cake. Okay actually, I didn’t, so I had to eat my cake in the taxi, but it was Mmmmm. In fact, it wouldn’t be so bad to still be there now.
To celebrate the release of The Girl with the Parrot on her Head in paperback, the lovely Dulwich books have put Isabel and her system, and the WOLF in their window:
I am extremely grateful, again, for the amazing scalpel work performed on this display by the design team at Walker Books. Hmm, I wonder if I will get to design any monster windows when ALPHONSE, THAT IS NOT OK TO DO! is loosed in March…
Yesterday I put up an exhibition at Pickled Pepper, Crouch End’s specialist children’s bookshop. I framed eleven of the screenprints I made for my first picturebook, The Girl with the Parrot on her Head, and they’ll stay on display all summer, until August 31st. It’s great to have a chance to show the artwork, especially in Pickled Pepper’s lovely event space.
The first week of the exhibition coincides with the Crouch End Festival (5th-14th June) so there are lots of other things to see and do if you visit then, including a Girl with the Parrot on her Head reading and craft workshop on Saturday 13th June.
The pictures are hand-made screenprints, and prints from the same editions (so almost the same as the framed/published prints) will be for sale. If you’d like to read more about the illustrations, I wrote a guest blog for Walker about making the book.
An update: now there’s a Girl with the Parrot on her Head window too!