My latest picture book, I Like Trains, is Book of the Week at Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea Libraries this week! I had a lovely time visiting St John’s Wood Library a couple of years ago and had hoped to go back with I Like Trains, so this is a kind of virtual visit – and the upside is anyone anywhere can join in through Facebook.
Well that was a lie. I had a monstrously good time at the launch for I DO NOT LIKE BOOKS ANYMORE! at Gosh Comics on 10th May – so many of my favourite people in one room and oh my giddy aunt THE BISCUITS!! The biscuits were made by the completely amazing Emily Wilkinson who has been baking my books since before they were books (see previous biscuitmania). One of my favourite things was seeing photos of children clutching monster biscuits at breakfast time – very impressive of their parents to get them all the way home without even nibbling their ears (the BISCUITS’ I mean!).
I’m so hugely grateful to everyone who came and made it such a lovely evening, and to Gosh! for being grand hosts again (and just the most brilliant shop). And I was extremely touched by the things Deirdre and Lizzie, Walker Books Publisher and my Editor, said – I’m very very lucky to work with them.
Many thanks to Emma O’Donovan and Penny Dixie for the photos.
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.
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). If, 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.
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.
My third book, Hilda and the Runaway Baby, published by Walker Books, is available now! I should write a proper blogpost about this really – it has been a fairly epic process, during which I became very attached to this friendliest and reddest of pigs. However, I am printing monsters at a million miles an hour for my fourth book so I will just have to do it inaminute. Meanwhile, here is a post about how it was not the most sensible thing to screenprint and here are some places to get your very own Hilda in English or French.