Monday 5 November 2012

BIG news!

Hi everyone!

In case you haven't already heard, my new children's book 'Sylvester and the New Year' is officially out TODAY! 
So far I've worked harder on this book than anything I've else I've done in my career, and so it being out in the open for scrutiny and/or praise is nervewracking to say the least.  But let's hope it's all on the positive side!

It's been fantastic working with Far Far Away Books on this project (and the other two books I'm currently working with them on).  They've been really supportive and driven in developing the books into being the best that they can be, and with this one in particular we're all hoping it'll be one of those annual traditions that the family brings the book out each New Year's eve.
We've had some really great feedback from bookbuyers so far and apparently they had to ship copies out in advance because of the demand!

It's a really magical story and was a joy to illustrate.  I started working on it in January of this year, which seems like the distant past now!  It really was a labour of love, and I poured everything into it.  
Sadly, whilst I was working on the book earlier this year my Grandad passed away, which was truly heartbreaking.  He was always so proud of me and my work, encouraging my interest in art and keeping all of my childhood drawings (even the really bad ones).  Happily though, the last time I saw him I was able to let him know that I was dedicating this book to him and my Granny - I know he would be so proud to see it finished.
I feel like working on this book has really developed my illustration practice, in terms of both style and process.  Of course 'style' is a ongoing thing and I don't believe it's ever quite set (or should be) but I've stepped up another rung in the ladder of feeling more relaxed and confident in the work I'm doing. 

Illustrating children's books is a gruelling (but delightful!) learning curve.  At times it's absolutely daunting with the sheer amount of work that goes into it, but you pick up so many skills along the way and learn so much about the way you work best.  At one point during this project I was illustrating two other books at the same time! Trial by fire I'll tell you. But! As I said, I think I'm a better illustrator for it - I've been forced to think and work faster in terms of visual problem solving, develop new ways of working and make and accept harsh edits for the greater good.

I'll let you know a little further on where you can get your hands on a copy, and if you do, especially if you have kids, let me know what you/they think. I know my younger self would've enjoyed this book (I bring her out every time I'm illustrating for children, she's a real magical adventure fan!) - it'd be great to hear some feedback from little'uns. 

The book will be available to buy in bookshops (I'll have a full stocklist soon), online and at the Enchanted Forest exhibition I'm in at Foyles (Charing Cross, London) from 29th Nov - 7th Dec this year.

For now you can grab an online copy at places like -

Sainsbury's Entertainment

(Note, these links are all to the hardback editions because the silverfoil on the dustjacket is goooorgeous.  But you can also get cheaper paperback editions!) 

There's also now a Goodreads page for the book, so if you have yourself a shelf you can add it to your 'to-read' section if you like!

If you have any questions about the book or my processes in it post me a comment below! I'm happy to answer anything about it.

I hope you're having a good day! Speak soon, 



  1. It looks beautiful. I love contrasts, but I think my favorite is Sylvester with his foot up by the fire.

  2. That spread was one of the ones that took most reworking. I really wanted to have a cosy, natural feel to it :-)

  3. That spread was one of the ones that took most reworking. I really wanted to have a cosy, natural feel to it :-)