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12th June 2019

A Brand new Jonny Duddle Jolley-Rogers Adventure

Get ready for the next Jolley-Rogers family adventure by Jonny Duddle with The Pirate Piper (Published by Templar Publishing)…

 

…By the cover of night a battered ship arrives through a thick veil of fog, it is The Black Death.

The next morning the townsfolk of Dull-on-Sea wake to find that their town is overrun with rats, hundreds of rats, it is an infestation! Just when everyone is at their wit’s end, a strange nautical pirate, a raggedy figure in a tattered tailcoat, Captain Horatio Rattus turns up with his flute and offers to get rid of the rodent problem – for a fee.

Once that rats have gone, the greedy mayor refuses to pay his fee – so the Pirate Piper plays an enchanted tune and leads all the children away. It’s up to Matilda and Jim to save their friends. With the help of Nugget and her magical fiddle playing they hatch a plan to get the children back safely to their parents and rid the town on the evil Pirate Piper for good. Nugget’s only request for saving the day is payment in ice-cream, as much as she can eat – oh and a statue in her honour.

Illustrated throughout with Jonny Duddle’s  characterful creations, these adventure packed bite sized reads will deliver a punch of hilarity and a good smattering of mischief, for all of yer little wannabe pirates – Aar!

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The Arrival of the Black Death

 

 

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Captain Horatio Rattus at the Town Hall

 

 

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“Jump aboard, Jim!” said Matilda, “I’ll give you a backy!”

 

 

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“Raise that fiddle, Nugget!” said Matilda. “It’s concert time!”

 

 

Jonny Duddle The Jolley Rogers and the Pirate Piper

Twenty thousand pounds. By sunrise. Delivered to my ship. Or ye’ll all be payin’ a FAR heavier price!

 

 

Jonny Duddle The Jolley Rogers and the Pirate Piper

The heroes who returned the children

 

 

 

Order a copy of The Jolley-Rogers and the Pirate Piper HERE…

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View Jonny Duddle‘s Online Portfolio or follow him on Twitter for more piratical japes.

 

 

 

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5th June 2019

Adam Stower strikes Gold with King Coo Book Two!

There’s trouble afoot for our beloved hero Ben Pole as things take a mysterious turn for the worse with the arrival of a suspicious new history teacher with a very suspicious wonky eye.

The Curse of the Mummy’s Gold is the second instalment in the raucous, laugh-a-minute King Coo fiction series by Adam Stower (published by David Fickling Books)

‘A FUNNY fabulous, furry adventure. READ IT!’ Liz Pichon

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A mischievous band of heavily disguised robbers calling themselves the Midnight Mob hatch an elaborate plan to steal the Mummy’s treasure from the local museum. Will Ben be able to foil the robbers with the help of King Coo and her biscuit scented wombat sidekick Herbert?

Filled with zany contraptions, hair-brained plans and kooky characters this beautifully illustrated series provides the perfect gateway to an older fiction format for newly emerging readers.

Adam Stower Curse of the Mummy's Gold

Adam is the 2019 Summer Reading Challenge illustrator and his brilliant talent for creating a myriad of engaging characters is clearly showcased in this fabulous illustrated fiction series notably in the hilarious annotated character introduction pages which are a sight to behold..

Adam Stower Curse of the Mummy's Gold

Adam Stower Curse of the Mummy's Gold

Each page is embellished with action packed illustrations transporting the reader from fascinating museums to dark and gloomy caves, with intricate plans mapped out to explain the inner workings of some of King Coo’s more intrepid plots. These books also feature a number of sequential storytelling pages with a familiar comic book layout making them feel both approachable and accessible. Adam’s skill at capturing character with his energetic line leaps off the pages, the illustrations enrich the story and are full of humour and life.

 

Adam Stower Curse of the Mummy's Gold Mr Pickering

Grab a copy of King Coo The Curse of the Mummy’s Gold HERE

Adam Stower Curse of the Mummy's Gold

 

You can view Adams’ online portfolio HERE or check him out on Twitter and Instagram

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Three cheers for King Coo and her magnificent beard, hip hip hooray…burnt sausages all round!

 

Go over to our video page to see Adam talk about his journey bringing King Coo to life.

29th May 2019

Frances Castle Portfolio Update

If the bank holiday weekend seems like a distant memory and you fancy a pick-me-up, look no further! We’ve updated Frances Castle’s online portfolio to brighten your day.

Frances Castle portfolio thumbnails

The new work encompasses a wide range of different projects showcasing her broad interests and adaptability. From a choose-your-own travel adventure book for children to designing record sleeves for Clay Pipe Music, Frances’ illustrations are inspired by the vintage books, printmaking and packaging of the 1950’s, 60’s & 70’s but she gives her images a fresh, modern twist that has won her many fans.

If you want to meet Frances in person, then she will be exhibiting her work and selling her graphic novel, Stagdale: Part 1 at ELCAF (the East London Comics and Arts Festival 2019) on Friday June 7th.

You can follow Frances on Twitter here, visit her website here and her online store here.

22nd May 2019

A spotters guide to Graham Carter

Graham Carter is one of the most exciting printmakers in the UK. His unique and distinctive work is influenced largely by nature and the secrets of the animal kingdom and there’s a familiar theme to Graham‘s recent work and the theme is feathered.

April saw the publication of Rebirding by Benedict MacDonald featuring a breathtaking cover illustration by Graham. A book which explores biodiversity and rewilding.

Benedict is a keen naturalist and conservation writer, also working in TV most notably on Sir David Attenborough’s Our Planet: series. As a fan of Graham’s print work Benedict immediately chose him to illustrate the cover of his new book. Working closely together, Graham created not only an eye-catching image but one that conveyed the main theme of this book which looks at the key reasons why species are vanishing.

With landscapes becoming ever more tamed and less diverse trapping tiny pockets of wildlife, this book explores how Britain has relied on modified farmland ecosystems rather than restoring natural habitats, consequently failing to halt the decline in wildlife.

Rebirding is a timely reminder of the fragility of the natural world and how species such as cuckoos, turtle doves and honey-bees tragically face impending extinction.

This book offers a simple solution by proposing the restoration of native landscapes, our wildlife and rural jobs, ensuring the stable future of rural communities and the natural world which they support and nurture.

 

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“Rebirding is beautifully written, based on deep, personal experience and a genuine love of the subject. It also benefits from the heady enthusiasm of youth. You may not have come across Ben Macdonald before now; but believe me, you will hear a lot more from him in the future.” –Stephen Moss

“The type of book that grabs and keeps my attention. I recommend it highly – you should read it and I think you may well enjoy it a lot.” –Mark Avery

“A book about a key subject at a key time, passionate and deeply thought-through. Anyone concerned with the future of the natural world in Britain will want to read it. It is a beautifully written, thoughtful and, yes, provocative book.” –Martin Harper, Conservation Director, RSPB

“This is a wonderful book, visionary, illuminating and fascinating. It will help accelerate the rewilding revolution now beginning in Britain.” –George Monbiot

Grab a copy of Rebirding HERE 

You can view Graham’s portfolio HERE or follow him on Instagram and Twitter

 

COMING SOON …

Graham’s very first picture book, Otto Blotter Bird Spotter publishes in October with Andersen Press.

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Otto Blotter Bird Spotter, Graham’s debut picture book is visually pleasing and filled to the brim with humour and charm perfectly complimenting the rich autumnal hues in Grahams illustrations, delivering design lead story telling in bucket loads,.

The Blotter family are avid bird spotters, who stay in their hide all day. All except for Otto – he’d rather go out and have big adventures. When he follows the BIGGEST footprints he’s ever seen, he finds an extraordinary baby bird all on its own. Otto’s new friend soon reveals a very special ability: camouflage! But the bird keeps growing and growing, and Otto begins to suspect it may have a family after all… perhaps the time has come to take him home?

More on this in a future blog post! Keep your eyes peeled.

 

15th May 2019

A Planet Full of Plastic by Neal Layton

Neal Layton - A Planet Full of Plastic

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The recent  BBC television series Blue Planet 2 highlighted the devastating threat posed to the planets oceans by over use of plastics and the ireprable damage they are causing to our marine life, Sir David Attenborough urged people to use less plastic immediately and since the series aired it is estimated that 88% of viewers have dramatically cut their plastic use.

In June we will be celebrating the publication of award winning author and illustrator Neal Layton’s A Planet Full of Plastic, an approachable honest look at recycling, it’s uses, environmental impact and it’s invention. This brilliant educational book will get young readers excited about how they can make a difference to keep Planet Earth happy.

“Everything is made of stuff. Some things are made of paper, like this book. And some things are made of PLASTIC. If you look around you, plastic is everywhere. Even in places where it’s not meant to be. If it drops to the ground, it doesn’t rot away – it sticks around for ever.”

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We asked Neal to tell us a little bit about his work on this special book…

A Planet Full of Plastic really was a book I felt I HAD to write.  I felt I knew a bit about the plastic problem, after all I had a’ keep-cup’ but making this book really was an enlightening journey for me.

The first thing I did when researching was to start keeping all the plastic packaging that came into our house. Quite quickly this became unmanageable because of the sheer volume of packed, bags, bottle tops, tubs that started filling up my studio. It really did surprise me just how quickly it accumulated, and sadly a lot of it was not recyclable.

Also when we were out and about as a family I also asked my daughters to tell me if they saw any plastic pollution. They were very helpful in this! Every bit we found we photographed, and then collected to dispose of properly, but again quite quickly we had to limit the game as there was just SO much, and we found we were spending all our time photographing and collecting rubbish. NB: We still do 2 minute beach and park cleans though!!

I also had a lot of help from Clare Seek, a local environmentalist and mum, and David Jones, who is also an environmentalist, underwater photographer and one of the leading experts on microplastics in the world and because of their invaluable help this book is dedicated to them.

One of the nicest things about making this book was the help I received from everyone I met along the way, whether they were environmentalists, scientists, families, children… I got  a real sense everyone  ‘wanting to do something’ about the problem, and that is something I wanted to put into the book.

Because making it is my way of ‘doing something’ to help the problem, and researching, writing and illustrating it really was a life changing experience for me.

My hope is that people reading it might experience something similar.

 

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Neal’s brilliantly evocative collage illustrations make this an accessible and engaging read, an essential educational tool for classrooms and libraries and the perfect read for young nature lovers.

A Planet Full of Plastic publishes with Hachette Children’s Books (@wrenandrookbook) – You can pre-order a copy HERE

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

Neal talks about the inspiration behind and the creation of this book in an interview with Foyles over on their website HERE

Here are TEN TOP TIPS for reducing your plastic usage.

1- Use a reusable coffee cup – around 2.5 billion coffee cups are discarded each year.

2- Have a water bottle to hand – plastic bottles are the most frequently found items on beach clear ups.

3- Say no to plastic cutlery.

4- Avoid disposable drinking straws.

5- Ditch clingfilm and use foil instead which can be recycled.

6- Tea bags are coated in plastic use loose leaf tea and a strainer instead

7- Try not to chew gum, it’s made of plastic and there are alternatives available.

8- Ditch glitter for biodegradable glitter

9- Consider having your milk delivered by a milkman – glass bottles can be easily reused.

10- Choose wine with sustainable corks instead of plastic corks

 

Tips for Kids!

1- Choose an ice cream cone instead of a pot! a tasty way to reduce your plastic consumption.

2- Think carefully about what you put in birthday party goody bags, less plastic toys more thoughtful recyclable items, seeds perhaps? or home made biscuits.

3- Wrap your lunchbox sandwiches in baking parchment, you can even decorate it with stickers!

 

Neal will be doing a virtual BLOG TOUR, starting 27th June – see below for details.

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