Eleven-year old Alfie Bloom’s life is dull and lonely but all that changes when he is summoned to the bizarre offices of mysterious solicitor, Caspian Bone to find out that he has inherited a castle full of wonders, that has been sealed for centuries. He is further astounded to discover that he was born in that very castle six hundred years ago during a magical timeslip and he has an ancient magic hidden inside him… Unfortunately for Alfie, dangerous forces are after this powerful magic. Can he, his family, and his friends keep the magic safe from terrifying evil and protect his inheritance? Fortunately, Orin Hopcraft – the last of the great druids and Artan – the flying bearskin rug, along with his cousins Madeleine and Robin are around to lend a hand!
The British Museum in collaboration with Nosy Crow have just published a new colouring book, illustrated by Thomas Flintham. Around The World Colouring Book With 16 Incredible Civilisations includes stickers featuring the jewels in the British Museum collection from each of the countries, children can explore each culture as they colour in the fantastic scenes of ancient life.
The Kamba people live in Kenya in East Africa, They are well known for their carving skills and crafts. Some Kamba wear colourful beadwork ornaments and costumes at special festivals.
In New Zealand, Maori society is organised into tribes. Each group has a meeting house called a wharenui. Here, they hold special welcoming ceremonies called powhiri which include speeches, dances and singing.
In India, when rich people got married there were large wedding processions outside grand buildings. People even rode on elephants!
The Forbidden City in Beijing was home to the Chinese emperors for five hundred years. Within the palace walls are hundreds of buildings with yellow roofs and red pillars.
The Aztecs built spectacular stone cities like Tenochititlan with large pyramids dedicated to their gods.
The ancient Egyptians built stunning temples on the banks of the River Nile. They were decorated with images of the Egyptian gods and there were often extravagant festivals held on the river.
Our July calendar image is this stunner by Jonny Duddle which should have you rushing to the coast to indulge in some sun, sea and surf. It’s taken from his forthcoming picture book, Pirates of Scurvy Sands (Templar) and a welcome return of the Jolley-Rogers and their land-lubber friend, Matilda.
Graham Carter’s stunning new cover illustration for the Egmont Modern Classic, National Velvet by Enid Bagnold, is published this week. The most famous and loved racing story of all time, this is a classic tale of dreams, ambition and one girl’s belief in a horse. First published in 1935, National Velvet is the story of a 14-year-old girl named Velvet Brown who is mad about horses. When she wins a piebald horse in a raffle, she knows he’s something special. His heart is as big as the five-foot fences he jumps, and he’ll do anything for Velvet. Soon, she and her friend Mi have their sights set on the biggest race in England. But can a girl win the Grand National steeplechase?
Graham incorporated the silhouette of a horse with the thrill of the steeplechase, all set within a quintessential English countryside scene. He also had to include a circular device for the title to be in keeping with Egmont’s previous modern classics. The result is a beautiful cover which refreshes this classic tale and is sure to appeal to a modern readership.
It was twenty years ago that this famous children’s book was published, inspiring a whole generation of children to fall in love with reading and kick-starting a huge publishing phenomenon. Written by J.K. Rowling who had received many rejection letters before Bloomsbury Children’s Books took a chance and published a small print run of 500 copies of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone on June 26th 1997.
To see a potted history of the books from that date to this, Bloomsbury have produced a timeline showing the important dates in the Harry Potter calendar of events.
In late 2016 Levi Pinfold was approached by the Art Director at Bloomsbury to create new artworks for the celebration editions, each one branded with the four individual House Crests; Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. And we are so thrilled to be able to share some of those beautiful artworks with you. Each of the crest designs had to work successfully as a reversed out image on a black cover as and as black line image on a coloured background for the paperbacks.
Levi was interviewed about his experience of illustrating the special editions on the Pottermore website and also appeared on TV in Australia where he lives talking about the work. We hope you like them as much as we do.
In each of the four editions, Levi also captured each house founder and the head of house, here are the two illustrations from the Slytherin Edition featuring Salazar Slytherin and Professor Snape.
Levi was asked to draw a new map of Hogwarts Castle for the interior.