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4th November 2020

Neal Layton provides inspiration for a climate change generation

With news regarding climate change in the forefront of many peoples minds award-winning author and illustrator Neal Layton has created two stunning non-fiction books for children. These vibrant and informative books provide the perfect platform for creating a new wave of environmental warriors and planet protectors.

 

‘The combination of a picture book format and that of a non-fiction publication ensures younger audiences will feel immersed and engaged…[this book] informs younger readers by breaking down the information so that they can understand the terminology being used around them, feel a part of the conversation, and make changes to their behaviours and lifestyles to benefit the planet – Greta Thunberg would be proud!’ – Federation of Children’s Book Groups

 

Inspired by trips to his local beach on the south coast and his dismay at the quantity of discarded plastics polluting the surrounding area and more widely across the planet Neal set about writing and illustrating A Planet Full of Plastic for Wren and Rook.  Aimed at introducing young readers to the concept of recycling, the history of plastic, reducing the excessive use of single use plastics and exploring plastic alternatives this educational read is packed with helpful everyday tips. Aside from Neal’s brilliantly comical highly animated illustrations his absolute passion and commitment for preserving the planet for future generations shines through with authenticity on every single page.

 

We are thrilled that the recently announced UKLA Book Award longlist features A Planet Full of Plastic so we have our fingers firmly crossed.

 

 

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Pull up a chair and enjoy Neal reading from this fabulous book and then read a fabulous review for A Planet Full of Plastic over on the Eco Kids website HERE.

 

 

A Climate in Chaos (published by Wren & Rook)  partners A Planet Full of Plastic and is perfect for readers aged 5-7 who love nature and want to help the environment, including those who may be feeling worried and confused about what climate change is.  On publication A Climate in Chaos received numerous rave reviews for the way in which it delivered factually accurate and vitally important information in an immersive and engaging way.

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A Climate in Chaos is published by Wren & Rook You can buy your copy from Waterstones and Hive.co.uk.You can read more about A Climate in Chaos in our blog post HERE 

 

You can see more of Neal’s work by visiting his online portfolio HERE, he can also be found on Instagram and Twitter. For more information about these books and working with Neal Layton please email info@arenaillustration.com

 

4th November 2020

Looking back at Inktober 2020

As we scurry back into a second lockdown it’s the perfect time for us to revisit some of the amazing work our illustrators created for this year’s Inktober initiative. Created in 2009 by Jake Parker Inktober has become a challenge to improve inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.

It’s always a thrill to see the array of different interpretations artists come up with for the 31 daily prompts, which this year included, Dune, Dog, Outpost and Rocket, amongst many others themes and subjects.

Euan Cook embraced these prompts and here are some of our favourite Inktober doodles from him…

 

Inktober – Shoes by Euan Cook

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Inktober – Crawl by Euan Cook

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Inktober – Rocket by Euan Cook

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Inktober – Hope by Euan Cook

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Inktober – Music by Euan Cook

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You can visit Euan’s Twitter account to see ALL of his contributions this year…Enjoy.

The rules for participation are simple, draw an illustration inspired by a theme each day of the 31 days in October, post online on Twitter or Instagram and tag the team at Inktober, what could be simpler? So sharpen your pencils and get ready to celebrate Inktober 2021

For more information regarding working with Euan Cook please email info@arenaillustration.com.

 

Find out more about Inktober HERE or check online using the hashtag Inktober!

 

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28th October 2020

Happy Halloween!

The nights are drawing in, there’s a spooky chill in the air and we have plenty of Halloween treats in store for you!

You may have seen our recent blog piece featuring the fabulous new collaboration between Britain’s best-selling children’s author David Walliams and award-winning illustrator Adam Stower. Little Monsters published by Harper Collins Children’s Books is popping up in all major high street retailers and will make the perfect treat for your little tricksters. Howler is a SMALL werewolf with a BIG problem. He is just not SCARY!  You can buy your copy of Little Monsters HERE.

Here is a small selection of some of our favourite illustrations from Little Monsters! Featuring Howler’s wicked witch teacher Miss Spell, who he eventually manages to scare, right out of her bloomers.

 

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And the treats keep coming as we welcome illustrator Natalie Smilie to Arena. We will be introducing her officially when we reveal her online portfolio but in the meantime we wanted to share some of her stunning spooky illustrations with you. We think you’ll agree they are wonderfully atmospheric and we look forward to showing you lots more of her work in the coming weeks. For more information regarding working with Natalie please email info@arenaillustration.com or pop over and peruse her website HERE,

 

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With a few days left to stock up on Halloween party supplies we can heartily recommend popping in to your local Waitrose and Partners store where you can choose from an array of FANGtastic Halloween merchandise designed by Arena illustrator Graham Carter. From party plates and bunting to toys, treats and even Halloween crackers this funky collection will make your ghoulish gathering go with a bang. You can view Graham’s online portfolio HERE and for more information regarding working with Graham please do email info@arenaillustration.com

 

 

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We hope you enjoy all of the Autumnal festivities and wish you all a very Happy Halloween!

22nd October 2020

J.R.R. Tolkien: Unfinished Tales Illustrated by John Howe

Harper Collins have celebrated the 40th anniversary of Unfinished Tales by J.R.R Tolkien with a stunning illustrated edition of this fantasy classic. Featuring 18 breath-taking full colour works of art by Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith and Arena Illustrator John Howe, this special edition takes readers further into the stories told in The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, depicting scenes from the First, Second and Third Ages of Middle-earth.

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Unfinished Tales is a collection of narratives ranging in time from the Elder Days of Middle-earth to the end of the War of the Ring and provides those who have read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with a whole collection of background and new stories. An absolute must-have for fans of Tolkien and fantasy fiction.

The book concentrates on the realm of Middle-earth and comprises such elements as The Quest of Erebor, Gandalf’s lively account of how it was that he came to send the Dwarves to the celebrated party at Bag-End; the emergence of the sea-god Ulmo before the eyes of Tuor on the coast of Beleriand; and an exact description of the military organization of the Riders of Rohan.

Unfinished Tales also contains the only story about the long ages of Númenor before its downfall and all that is known about such matters as the Five Wizards, the Palantíri and the legend of Amroth. The tales were edited by Christopher Tolkien, who provides a short commentary on each story, helping the reader to fill in the gaps and put each story into the context of the rest of his father’s writings.

Click HERE to buy your very own copy of this magnificent book.

You can view John Howe’s full online portfolio HERE and for more information regarding working with John Howe please email info@arenaillustration.com

 

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Alan Lee, John Howe and Ted Nasmith gathered virtually for Waterstones to discuss their work illustrating Tolkien’s Unfinished Tales, The webinar was hosted by Waterstones on the 1st of October 2020 with the writer Brian Sibley acting as chair. A fascinating watch for fans of Middle Earth. John talks in detail about this illustration of the Black Rider set in a New Zealand landscape inspired by the Three Sisters Beach.

 

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15th October 2020

Little Monsters by David Walliams, Illustrated by Adam Stower

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We are delighted to announce the publication of a new picture book from Britain’s bestselling children’s author, David Walliams. LITTLE MONSTERS introduces our very own illustrator – Adam Stower – to the Walliam’s picture-book portfolio, joining legendary illustrators Sir Quentin Blake and Tony Ross. Little Monsters is the seventh picture book by David Walliams. His stories for the very young have collectively sold over 1.1 million copies in the UK and have sold in over 20 territories around the globe.

 

Little Monsters invites children to meet Howler, a small werewolf with a big problem. He is just not scary! And that makes him the odd one out at Monster School . . . But then Howler finds some new friends, and in a lovely and unexpected twist at the end, he discovers that being the odd one out might just make him the coolest one of all . . . Children will howl with laughter in reading this monstrously funny picture book which celebrates individuality and finding your own voice.

 

At Monster School with Miss Spell

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It’s Halloween, Howler meets some new friends

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Howling

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Adam Stower said, “I am thrilled to join The World of David Walliams. Little Monsters is packed with humour, warmth, and wonderful characters and has been an absolute pleasure to illustrate.”

 

David Walliams said, “I hope this book will be the perfect treat for little ones this Halloween and beyond.”

 

HarperCollins Children’s Books Executive Publisher, Ann-Janine Murtagh said, “We are excited to welcome Adam Stower to the list in his debut as an illustrator for David. Adam’s fresh and playful style is the perfect partner to David’s glorious storytelling. Little Monsters guarantees much needed family fun and laughter this Halloween, and will be the perfect gift for the season and beyond.”

 

David’s first picture book for younger readers, The Slightly Annoying Elephant, was published in 2013. He then went on to write a further six picture books with Tony Ross, of which The Slightly Annoying Elephant, The First Hippo on the Moon, and The Bear that Went Boo were all number-one bestsellers.

For more information on David’s children’s books, news and events please visit:

www.worldofdavidwalliams.com

You can buy your copy of Little Monsters HERE.

Check out Adam on Instagram and Twitter or view his new updated online portfolio HERE, for more information about working with Adam please email info@arenaillustration.com