Luke Pearson – Nobrow

I discovered Nobrow through my obsession with Flying Eye Books. Now I am obsessed by everything Nobrow. Last week I finally bought one of the Hilda books, Hilda and the Bird Parade, which I will be featuring on the blog soon. I loved it, Hilda is a fantastic character. If you read my blog or follow me on twitter you’ll probably know that I recently became the father of twins, 1 boy and 1 girl.

My mission is to create a vast library of amazing books for them to indulge in. I seek out books with strong female characters, books that challenge, books that are beautiful, books that are educational, books that funny and sad, books that are surprising and unpredictable.

Hilda is exactly the kind of character I want my son and daughter to read about. She is adventerous, courageous, kind and inquisitive.

Check out this video by Luke Pearson.

An Egg Is Quiet By Dianna Aston and Sylvia Long

Everything you wanted to know about the secret world of eggs. This is a beautiful book to feast your eyes on. The illustrations, layout and typography are gorgeous.  This is a fantastic book to teach children (and adults) everything they need to know about eggs. An Egg Is Quiet will intrigue young minds and encourage a love of science.

I’ve used this book many times for guided reading sessions and the book has always inspired awe and wonder from the children around the table.

It’s also great to draw from. I have used it as a stimulus for art lessons and a resource for observational drawing in science lessons.

There are 3 other titles in this series. Check them out here.

Q&A with Tom Percival author of Bubble Trouble

How long have you been making children’s books, and how did it come about? 

My first picture book, Tobias and the Super Spooky Ghost Book was published in 2010 and you work a year ahead in picture books so I guess I started in 2009. I illustrate a series of books for older children called Skulduggery Pleasant which was successful enough that publishers became interested in seeing what ideas I had of my own. I’ve written and illustrated my own stories since I was a child and if you have a passion for something then eventually you get good at it. 

It took me a while though, all my pre-publication ideas would have made terrible picture books, too long-winded, too many characters, sub-plots. I could go on, you name the mistake I’d have made it! Having said that, some of them are still good ideas in their own right. What I’m realising now is that nothing is every truly a mistake, if you match up the right idea to the right medium then you’re away! That overly complex picture book idea might make a brilliant chapter reader.

What do think makes a picture book great? 

Hmmm, apart from getting it made by Oliver Jeffers I’m not sure I have a very clear answer to that! What I strive for in my picture books is to make something that is accessible, entertaining, and communicative. I’ve learnt so much from the books I’ve read over the years and I think if you can help children develop an understanding of the world, relationships, emotions AND give them an exciting journey to go on, then that’s all you can hope for from a picture book. Anything else is really just stylistic. For example, I like writing funny stories at the moment, but a picture books doesn’t have to be funny to be great. So I guess what makes a picture book great is the same as what makes any book great, it’s a story that speaks to you and inspires you.

What were the last 5 picture books you bought?

Specs for Rex by Yasmeen Ismail
The Promise by Niciola Davies and Laura Carlin
This is London by M. Sasek
Hilda and the Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson
Zagazoo by Quentin Blake
The friendship between Rueben & Felix is very funny, can you name 3 of your favourite friendships in picture books?
Mabel and Me by Mark Sperring and Sarah Warbuton has a really funny friendship at it’s core. Apart from that my mind has gone completely blank! I don’t want to go ferreting around on my bookshelves looking for picture books about friendship because that would feel like cheating! So can I just say that one? 

Charley Harper Colors by Gloria Fowler

This lovely book helps youngsters identify colors through vivid illustrations that capture their imagination. Early readers can also recognize the written names of the colors, as each one is spelled out in its corresponding color.

Ammo Books

Charley Harper An Illustrated Life by Tom Oldham

Charley Harper is an American original who created his art from his home studio in Cincinnati, Ohio-until his death on June 10, 2007 at the age of 84. He is beloved for his delightful, graphic and often humorous illustrations of nature, animals, insects and people alike. Charley liked to say, that when he paints a bird, he doesn’t count all the feathers in the wings-he just counts the wings. Minimal realism, he called it, and his unique and precise style continues to resonate and inspire his admirers.

Charley Harper – An Illustrated Life showcases his illustrations that appeared from 1950-1975 in the Ford Times magazines, as well as in books such as the beloved “The Giant Golden Book of Biology” in 1961, “Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two” in 1961, and “The Animal Kingdom” in 1968, among many others. His well loved book “Birds and Words”, first published in 1974, is considered a classic. This massive volume is the definitive Charley Harper book to have on your bookshelf!

– Charley Harper Art Studio

Published by Ammo Books

Tyler Makes Pancakes! by Tyler Florence, illustrated by Craig Frazier

From farm to mouth. This charming book educates us about our food and where it comes from. Filled with beautiful illustrations.

My Father’s Arms are a Boat by Stein Erik Lunde Illustrated by Øyvind Torseter

It’s quieter than it’s ever been. Unable to sleep, a young boy climbs into his father’s arms. Feeling the warmth and closeness of his father, he begins to ask about the birds, the foxes…and whether his mother will ever wake up. Even in the face of absence and loss, the cycles of life continue unabated. We know in the end everything will somehow be all right.

– Enchanted Lion

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Over the snow, the world is hushed and white. But under the snow lies a secret world of squirrels and snow hares, bears and bullfrogs and many other animals making their winter home under the snow. This beloved nonfiction picture book exploring the subnivean zone reveals the tunnels and caves formed beneath the snow but over the ground, where many kinds of animals live through the winter, safe and warm, awake and busy, but hidden beneath the snow.

– Abrams & Chronicle Books