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1st February 2017

Arena February Calendar by Anna Chernyshova

It’s February already and this month’s calendar illustration is by Anna Chernyshova from the picture book, A Letter to Father Frost commissioned by Mosaic Synthesis Publishing.

A Letter to Father Frost illustrated by Anna Chernyshova

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27th January 2017

Monkey’s Sandwich illustrated by Emily Fox

Published this month by Harper Collins, Monkey’s Sandwich is the delightful follow-up picture book from the creators of Elephant’s Pyjamas, illustrator Emily Fox and author Michelle Robinson.

 

“Monkey’s tummy was rumbling. His breakfast plate was bare. None of the shops were open yet. “Perhaps my friends will share…?”…”

Monkey gets quite carried away helping himself to his friends’ food to make a delicious breakfast snack – but are his eyes bigger than his belly and will he ever be able to eat such an enormous sandwich before he falls asleep?

 

Emily’s charming characterisation of cheeky Monkey and his exasperated pals are a perfect match for this hilarious rhyming story by the brilliant Michelle Robinson. This is a picture book that will be read again and again and children will enjoy all the little details such as Donkey meditating

 

 

Emily Fox Monkey's Sandwich Picture Book  by Michelle Robinson

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Emily Fox Monkey's Sandwich Picture Book  by Michelle Robinson

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Emily Fox Monkey's Sandwich Picture Book  by Michelle Robinson

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Emily Fox Monkey's Sandwich Picture Book  by Michelle Robinson

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12th January 2017

Harry Potter Inside Hogwarts Library Books

Tomislav Tomic has produced the most amazing black and white artwork for the new edition of the Hogwarts Library Books by J. K. Rowling, decorating each book in a slightly different way giving them their own unique personality. The gorgeous cover artworks for the Library Editions were painted by Jonny Duddle to compliment the Harry Potter original set of books which were re-published in 2014 by Bloomsbury Children’s Books and these new editions will bring the three charity library books to a new audience. You can see the covers here and read more about the new editions.

 

We are thrilled to be able to showcase some of the illustrations here, we hope you enjoy them enough to go out and buy the books, Quidditch Through The Ages and The Tales of Beedle The Bard are out today and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is published in March. With HUGE thanks to the team at Bloomsbury particularly Isabel Ford who is the chief fact checker and Harry Potter expert.

 

The Tales of Beedle The Bard by J.K. Rowling

 

Five enchanting fairy tales full of magic and trickery, The Tales of Beedle The Bard have been favourite bedtime reading in wizarding households for centuries. Translated from the original runes by Hermione Granger, with accompanying notes by Professor Albus Dumbledore. The tales are; The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Warlock’s Hairy Heart, Babitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump and The Tale of The Three Brothers.

Tomislav Tomic Tales of Beedle the Bard decorative border

Title Page Decorative Border

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Tomislav Tomic_Tales of Beedle dumbledore's study

Dumbledore’s Study

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Tomislav Tomic_Tales of Beedle Fountain of Fair Fortune

Fountain of Fair Fortune

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Tomislav Tomic_Tales of Beedle Three Brothers

The Tale of the Three Brothers

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Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp and J.K. Rowling

 

If you have ever asked yourself where the Golden Snitch came from or why the Wigtown Wanderers have pictures of meat cleavers on their robes, you need this book, proceeds from the sale of which go to Comic Relief.

The first page of this book has the names of students that have borrowed it from Hogwarts Library and a warning from the librarian of the dire consequences of any student mistreating the book, so it’s a shame that someone has played naughts and crosses on the page, it could have been Ron Weasley or Neville Longbottom perhaps it was Draco Malfoy?

Tomislav Tomic_JK-Rowling_Quidditch_Hogwarts Crest

Hogwarts Library Crest

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Tomislav Tomic_JK-Rowling_Quidditch_League

Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland

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Tomislav Tomic_ JK-Rowling_Quidditch_World Cup

The First Quidditch World Cup

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11th January 2017

Harry Potter Hogwarts Library Books

Jonny Duddle has illustrated the covers for the new Hogwarts Library Books, these new updated hardback editions have been brought to life for a new audience with amazing inside illustrations by Tomislav Tomic.

 

With the huge success of the film of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the new Hogwarts library book will be out in shops in March.This collectible hardback has been revised and updated by J.K. Rowling, bringing the original classic book up to date with new content that reflects the exciting developments in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

 

New beasts lurk within the pages of this edition and eagle-eyed readers will have fun spotting them among the much-loved favourites. J.K. Rowling’s new introduction, written from the viewpoint of Newt Scamander, offers tantalising hints about the Magizoologist’s adventures and relationships, and Tomislav Tomic’s beautiful line illustrations bring many of the beasts to roaring, stomping, growling life.

 

Jonny Duddle’s new bright and colourful jacket design creates a cohesive look that complements the covers of the seven classic Harry Potter novels, as well as the new look Quidditch Through the Ages and The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

 

Proceeds from the sale of this edition will go to Comic Relief and J.K. Rowling’s own international charity Lumos, charities which help some of the world’s most vulnerable children and young people, to help them have a better life.

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has been an approved textbook at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry since its publication. Newt Scamander’s masterpiece has entertained wizarding families through the generations and is an indispensable introduction to the magical beasts of the wizarding world. Scamander’s years of travel and research have created a tome of unparalleled importance. Some of the beasts will be familiar to readers of the Harry Potter books – the Hippogriff, the Basilisk, the Hungarian Horntail. Others will surprise even the most ardent amateur Magizoologist.

 

Check out the amazing jackets below.

 

You can view more images on The Guardian Website Gallery here

Jonny_Duddle_Hogwarts_Library_Editions

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4th January 2017

Press Start! by Thomas Flintham

A new year heralds the arrival of a new series by Thomas Flintham, commissioned by Scholastic in the US this new series is part of Scholastic’s ‘Branches’ series, which is aimed at younger readers, encouraging them to choose the books that they will enjoy reading. Published first in the USA in January we will see it in shops in the UK in August.

It’s always game on with Super Rabbit Boy!…

Game Over Super Rabbit Boy Press Start Book 1 Thomas Flintham

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The Press Start series takes place in Super Rabbit Boy Land inside a ‘Super Funstan’ game (rather like a gameboy), in this first book we meet our pixellated hero, Super Rabbit Boy, as he saves the fun loving Animal Town from the mean King Viking from Mount Boom who, with his robot army is set to destroy the songs, which all the animals dance to and remove the happiness from the town by kidnapping Singing Dog. Solving the games levels and powering up with carrots, Super Rabbit Boy tricks the Robo-Fish, hops across the desert on Robo-Lizards and tunnels under Robo-Snakes. With every try the boy playing the game gets a game over sign at every level until finally he learns how to defeat King Viking and his robots and rescue Singing Dog bringing happiness and fun back to Animal Town.

Game Over Super Rabbit Boy Press Start Book 1

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Game Over Super Rabbit Boy Press Start Book 1 Thomas Flintham

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And now for a bit of background information from Thomas Flintham about the series…

 

I think to have a series of stories that reference gamer/adventure culture is a great idea, and a bit of a dream project for me! I got a Nintendo Entertainment System for christmas way back in 1991 and I haven’t stopped playing since! The stories and settings in retro games in particular offer a really fun and interesting set of worlds and characters to draw inspiration from.

Adventure Time is a show I particularly enjoy because of how it draws inspiration from some of the games I used to play when I was a kid, and even though it isn’t specifically a video game show it often feels like a more authentic representation of what it feels like to play games than other examples of films or shows that draw from video games for inspiration, such as ‘Wreck it Ralph’ and ‘Tron’, or the old 90’s show ‘Reboot’. These examples create a world where the characters know they are in a game, which never felt quite right to me. When kids play a game they enter its world, I certainly never considered that Super Mario would know that he is just a character in a game.

I really like the idea of creating stories where the reader knows the story is happening in a video game but the characters don’t. You could even show the player outside the game to reinforce this idea. This could help the reader to relate to the story, even one set in a strange surreal world, but also help create some funny possibilities within the stories, such as what happens when two friends are playing with each other or if the whoever is playing the game isn’t very good. Some stories might draw from this more than others but by at least showing the player and the game being started at the beginning it could help set the scene.

One element it could also be fun to draw from in these stories is the range of characters and worlds I used to enjoy playing as. Each story could be set in a different kind of game with a different setting. so one could be in a colourful platform setting, then you could have a spaceship game setting, a racing game or an epic role playing game. Each type of game would not only offer its on setting but also its on set of gameplay mechanics to draw ideas from. Using ideas such as extra lives, power ups and levels could be fun.

 

The ‘Super Funston’ is the all new, all amazing games console! Each book is a different game being played on a Super Funston Console.

Thomas 1994

Tom 1994