Tuesday, 26 March 2013

World Book Day tour 2013

Blimey, lots of exciting things have been going on around World Book Day this year. It was time for a mini tour, which is always good fun, and a nice change from the studio. I popped in to my old stomping ground of Hackney, and also to St Albans, Hertford, Walthamstow, Putney, the wonderful Discover centre in Stratford and to Seven Stories in Newcastle. It gave me the chance to get off my studio chair  and whip up a bit of enthusiasm for books. Like at this 'Giraffes Can't Dance' event...
Notice all the beautifully painted ossicones? Fact of the day: that's what the tufts on a giraffe's head are called, easily remembered because it rhymes with 'silly bones' (- which they are). 

Although the main point of these events is to give me the chance to show off a bit, I also like to get the children to do a bit of creating. After talking about how I do it and doing a bit of drawing for them, I ask them all to make up their own animal picture book character. I'm amazed by the freshness of the images they come up with, just look at these elephants by Amelia, Delphi and Maddie for example. I'm rather partial to elephants.

 Because  the 'Giraffes Can't Dance' activity book was one of the World Book Day £1 titles, I was invited to be on 'The Biggest Book Show on Earth'. It's streamed to about half a million people around the world and I was in rather fine company with Lauren Child, Shirley Hughes and our own Liz Pichon (of Tom Gates fame) amongst others. Here they are, having a laugh as we wait for it all to start.
And here's Shirley Hughes, moi and the fab Renaissance woman, Rachel Bright (Love Monster and Brightside stuff) alongside Cathy Cassidy of  'The Chocolate Box Girls"( I would know a lot more about her if I had a daughter). Strangely I don't remember us all being painted blue to look like Avatar Na'vi warriors.

I followed Shirley Hughes on the show, who was drawing Alfie. I had planned to do the quickest painting I'd ever done in my life and was a tad nervous but I was determined to enjoy it. And again, what a golden opportunity to show off. You can see me do my bit if you push the time slider to about 25 mins into this link to the webstream, although I would recommend watching all of it - it's very interesting .


I was very chuffed that Shirley Hughes gave me the picture of Alfie that she had painted. And delighted that the super talented Lauren child wanted my picture of a giraffe! I made her promise she would send me a sketch of Charlie and Lola.

It's good to be back painting in the studio now and I've got lots of other fun events coming up to look forward to:

Luton Hoo in St Albans  on 21 April
Sharjah Festival of reading, Dubai 2 and 3 May
Hay festival 2 June
Cardiff Festival 8 June.

Pop by if you are in the area.

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