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15th July 2019

Blast off with The Summer Reading Challenge Space Chase

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3….2….1…get ready to blast off into outer space with the 20th Anniversary Summer Reading Challenge, featuring illustrations by Arena Illustrator Adam Stower and inspired by the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

The Summer Reading Challenge originally conceived by Anne Sarrag MBE annually encourages over three quarters of a million childrenin the UK between the ages of 4 and 11 to sign up to this inspiring reading challenge. Worldwide the challenge goes into 20 countries and is most popular in India. Readers are invited to visit their local libraries over the school holidays and read 2, 4 or 6 books of their choice. Each child signing up to this years campaign will receive a collectors booklet in which they can record the details of each of the books they read, as they finish a book they are awarded a special sticker to complete a space scene… but beware some of these stickers are mighty stinky!

So help The Rocket family track down all those books the sneaky mischievous aliens have pinched and see where the adventure takes you. (psssst you can download some great activity sheets HERE Perfect for the summer holidays!)



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This years Space Chase themed campaign has been beautifully branded by Adam Stower who’s delightful family The Rockets adorn Summer Reading Challenge promotional material across the country. From activity sheets, posters, colour-in specs and collectors cards to smelly stickers, children will not fail to be utterly absorbed by this years fun-filled space adventure. Adam created 50 unique illustrations for this inspiring campaign from kooky aliens and grannies on space bikes to rockets, planets everything in between.

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Anne Sarrag steps down from her role at the Reading Agency this year so it is an even greater privilege to have Adam Stower representing Arena Illustration on this significant anniversary of a truly invaluable initiative, long may the Summer Reading Challenge continue to go from strength to strength. Sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge and find out more HERE!

Adam is the third Arena illustrator to be associated with such a campaign alongside Steve May and Jonny Duddle.

We have also put together a fantastic Vlog featuring interviews with Adam from his seaside studio so check it out by visiting this link HERE.

View Adam’s online portfolio HERE or follow him on Instagram and Twitter.





8th July 2019

Harry Potter Patronus Postcard Auction

The Patronus Art Auction for BookTrust kicks off celebrations marking 20 years of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

We are very lucky to have worked with Bloomsbury Publishing on the amazing anniversary House Editions illustrated by Levi Pinfold plus four of our artists have been asked to contribute their own patronus designs to the charity auction for BookTrust, the country’s largest reading charity. Part of a stellar line-up of 26 top UK illustrators. You can view more over on the Pottermore website

Diana Gerald, BookTrust CEO says “We are thrilled to be part of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’s 20th anniversary and we know that these exclusive, one of a kind illustrations will be in high demand. It’s lovely to think that a novel which has inspired children around the globe, along with some of the world’s most talented illustrators will help BookTrust to support families and get books into the hands of children across the UK” 


Harry Potter Patronus Auction

Doe Harry Potter Patronus Auction Levi Pinfold



Harry Potter Patronus Auction

Phoenix Harry Potter Patronus Auction Jonny Duddle



Harry Potter Patronus Auction

Tiger Harry Potter Patronus Auction Alex T. Smith



Harry Potter Patronus Auction

Hedgehog Harry Potter Patronus Auction Neal layton


5th July 2019

Harry Potter celebrates 20 years with lavish new editions

It’s almost impossible to believe that on the 8th July 20 magical years have passed since we opened the pages of J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third spell binding Harry Potter story in which readers were first introduced to the notion of casting their Patronus, a protective spell that manifests as a silvery animal guardian.

Levi PInfold Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

‘The Patronus turned. It was cantering back towards Harry across the still surface of the water. It wasn’t a horse. It wasn’t a unicorn, either. It was a stag. It was shining brightly as the moon above … it was coming back to him …’ 

To celebrate this momentous occasion in true lavish style Bloomsbury Publishing are set to publish luxurious house editions featuring exquisite Levi Pinfold illustrations of Herminone Granger, Severus Snape, Nymphadora Tonks and Cho Chang.

Levi PInfold Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Levi PInfold Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


Bloomsbury are celebrating the Patronus Charm in all of its magical forms with not one but TWO incredibly exciting projects, firstly collaborating with the UK’s largest children’s literature charity BookTrust on a very special charity auction.

A stellar line-up of 26 top UK children’s book illustrators – including Bloomsbury Harry Potter book artists Jim Kay, Jonny Duddle, Levi Pinfold and Alex T Smith  – are creating ORIGINAL postcard-sized illustration of Patronus creatures. You can see them featured on our news post here: Patronus Postcards

Follow this project on twitter using the hashtag #patronusonapostcard.

Prospective purchasers will be able to bid for the pieces online at BookTrust’s eBay for Charity page, which will be live at 6pm BST on Monday July 8th, and the postcards will be displayed during that week at Waterstones Piccadilly.


Bloomsbury are also working closely with The Week Junior magazine to challenge children in schools throughout the UK to create their own ‘Patronus on a Postcard’ and win some amazing Harry Potter prizes. The Judges include Harry Potter illustrator Levi Pinfold and The Week Junior’s editor-in-chief Anna Bassi.




You can view Levi’s online portfolio HERE or follow him on Instagram HERE, take a moment to watch our video interview with Levi HERE 




3rd July 2019

Claude…. Anyone for Strawberries?

Alex T Smith Anyone For Strawberries


With Wimbledon starting this week we thought we would avoid the queues for plastic cups of over priced strawberries and join beloved portly pooch Claude for some juicy fruit in the latest Alex T Smith Claude TV tie in adventure.

Claude Anyone for Strawberries? inspired by the Alex T Smith Claude adventures, published this week in glorious strawberry hues, this giggle inducing picture book romp will have little readers rolling in their seats.

Claude and Sir Bobblysock are looking forward to a nice breakfast of delicious juicy strawberries – but there are none to be found….ANYWHERE! Greedy guzzlers have snapped them up to eat at the Pawhaven Tennis Championship. Claude has to win the championship to make sure Sir Bobblysock doesn’t miss out on strawberries-for-breakfast day, but can he do it… after all he’s not terribly well known for his backhand?

Inspired by the hit Disney Junior TV series, this book packs a humorous punch as Sir Bobblysock and Claude embark on yet another titter-some slapstick adventure.. will it be game set and match for our all round winner Claude? Here’s hoping.

Alex T Smith Anyone For Strawberries


Alex T Smith Anyone For Strawberries


Alex T Smith Anyone For Strawberries




Claude Anyone for Strawberries? is OUT NOW published by Hachette Children’s Books you can grab a copy HERE


Praise for Alex T. Smith’s Claude series:
‘Illustrated with humour and elegance’ The Times
‘With quirky illustrations and plenty of humour’ Metro


Follow Alex on Twitter: @Alex_T_Smith

1st July 2019

Steve May Updated Portfolio!

From pint sized comedians and crime fighting sheriffs to unlucky footie players and lumbering yeti’s Steve may’s newly updated portfolio is certainly eclectic.

Steve has a delicious talent for spontaneous pen and ink illustrations perfectly capturing hilarious moments in the lives of the characters he illustrates. From frustration, to elation, to absolute hysteria Steve’s illustrations burst off the page with life and laughter.

Recent work in Steve’s newly updated portfolio for Faber and Faber, Barrington Stoke and Scholastic clearly illustrate that this much in demand illustrator has a special skill for bringing children’s fiction to life with absolute undiluted humour.


View Steve’s online portfolio HERE Follow Steve on Twitter HERE or check him out on Instagram HERE





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View Steve’s online portfolio HERE Follow Steve on Twitter HERE or check him out on Instagram HERE