Sunday, 13 January 2013

Tree Treasure

'Alphabetical Disorder' Imaginary Press. Copyright Lo Cole, 2012

Whilst putting away the Christmas Tree and decorations I found some 'tree treasure' in the form of an unopened present addressed to ME! I excitedly opened it (I'm still very much a child in that way) and to my delight discovered it was a wonderful little signed book by Lo Cole 'Alphabetical Disorder'. It was given to me by my good friend Bill, whom I worked with as a fellow designer for many years. We have always been strong advocates of the use of good illustration within design projects and have both always loved Lo Cole's work.

This witty and charming little book of nonsense alphabet was conceived as a result of Lo Cole snapping his Achilles tendon....ouch! So I guess being a bit 'fixed' and not being able to get out and about as one is normally used to (although both painful and frustrating) can have a positive flip the form of a wonderful creation like this! I hope this will give my friend Kim who has also snapped her Achilles tendon (double ouch), comfort, creative inspiration and a chuckle!

Here are my favourite spreads...

Copyright Lo Cole, 2012

Copyright Lo Cole, 2012

'Alphabetical Disorder' Imaginary Press. Copyright Lo Cole, 2012

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

A New Year, A New Book

''Never Ever' by Jo Empson
I have recently had two lovely book events to celebrate the launch of ‘Never Ever’ (published by Child’s Play) along with much cake (many thanks to Emma), the first at Octavias in Cirencester and the second at Heffers in Cambridge. I really appreciated so much, that many friends, family and customers came along to support these events, especially in Cambridge as it was such a very, very cold night to be out and about. This is my second picture book and it will be company on the bookshelves for ‘Rabbityness,’ my first picture book (also published by Child’s Play). I have been thrilled with the positive reviews of ‘Rabbityness’ and I do sincerely hope SO much that big and little people alike will also enjoy ‘Never Ever’ too. This is the scary bit when your book is first out there and you have absolutely no idea if people (and more importantly children) will like it or not! As siblings often are, the two books are very different in content, but both carry a significant message for the reader. In appearance, although they were born through the same ink technique, this is expressed through different colour palettes, reflecting each of the two books’ individual narratives.
Piggy Cup Cakes

The story is about a girl  who thinks nothing exciting EVER happens to her. Whilst she struts along her path with her nose in the air and eyes firmly closed, she misses all that happens around her. Her journey starts alongside an orchard full of grazing pigs, where her constant companion (a soft toy rabbit) spots a flying pig...which of course she misses! Followed by the flying pig, their journey continues over heather-covered hills, yellow fields of dandelions, stepping stones crossing a river and long, lush grasses.

Hidden within the changing landscapes, unbelievable and fantastic characters reveal themselves to join the procession behind our oblivious little character. As the story progresses, there are more surprises in store for her (which I won’t spoil by revealing). Fortunately she comes to no harm, and the book ends with her tucked up safely in bed (or is she?) snuggled up beside her ‘ever-knowing’ guardian -  that is, her soft toy rabbit! The text is a play on the words ‘never’ and ‘ever’, which work alongside the illustrations as a d├ęcalage adding humour and surprise. I think the text will be fun to read, gathering pace and encouraging children to be expressive when reading aloud.

Interestingly, a lot of adults who have seen a preview of ‘Never Ever’ seem to recognise themselves within the girl character. This doesn’t surprise me as the idea for the book came as a memory of being a child who loved exciting stories, I was forever disappointed that real life in a small town in Hampshire didn't quite match my imaginary expectations of what might be around the next corner...apart from chalk-pits!

...More Cake