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Monday, 12 July 2010

Talking Pictures Event Summary

On Tuesday 6th July I attended an event for librarians at the Random House offices in Pimlico. It hosted by Books For Keeps (a children's book review magazine).
The event was focused on illustrated books and I decided to go along because I need to develop more knowledge in this area. I actually took my mum with me because she works with younger readers and is intrigued by all these different author events that I go to. We arrived for a 6pm start and there was half an hour of mingling, talking to the publicists, editors and designers at Random House whilst enjoying their refreshments. Promptly at 6.30, we went into their presentation suite and listened to Rosemary Stones from Books for Keeps talk about the collaborative nature of picture/ illustrated books.
Rosemary introduced four author/illustrators and each of them spoke about their work.

First up was Chris Wormell - he has been working with Random House for over ten years. Chris uses many different techniques in his books  - lino cuts, watercolour and pastels. Chris taught himself to be an illustrator and I think that is so cool. His recent book One Smart Fish comes out in paperback in January. I love this image so much. One smart fish plays chess against all the other fish in the ocean.

Our next author/ illustrator was Mini Grey. Mini's first book was Egg Drop which was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Her new book -- Three by the Sea -- which is about an unconventional family (a mouse, a cat and a dog) is out in hardback in September.

Librarians, publishing people and illustration students all listen intently to Mini's story of how she came to be a children's illustrator. She began by explaining how she came to have the name Mini. A funny tale!

Our third author / illustrator was Sue Hendra. Sue has been illustrating for since 1994 but she was very open about the fact that in recent years her work had dried up. After speaking to a very ummm... blunt agent, Sue was told her style was "outdated" and "old-fashioned". So Sue went back to the drawing board (no pun intended) and started looking for a fresh style. All her hard work has paid off because she will have a new and very contemporary picture book published by Random House in May 2011. It is called Wanda and the Alien and I can only describe it as FUNKY!

And finally, Random House have very recently picked up a brand new, never been seen before author/ illustrator. Her name is Nadia Shireen and she has literally just finished her MA. Her debut picture book is Good Little Wolf and it will be published in June 2011 by Jonathan Cape - a Random House imprint. Nadia said her feet hadn't touched the ground since her degree show but that she was really excited. I loved the few illustrations that we were shown from her book. Definitely a name to watch out for!

After the presentation we had more time to mingle, eat cup cakes and chat to the authors. It was a great introduction into the world of children's illustrated books and served to show me how much I still have to learn.


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Sounds like such fun :) Thanks for sharing your story and pictures :)

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

This seems to be so much fun! I love the illustration for One Smart Fish.

I Want To Read That said...

Sounds like a great day! I love picture books:)

Library Mice said...

My son and I are big Mini Grey fans. Amd that Good Little Wolf looks really beautiful. Picture books are my real passion. We have hundreds at home and I spend hours flicking through them :0)

Splendibird said...

One Smart Fish and Good Little Wolf look great. I have a 2.5 year old daughter who will sit with a book for hours so am always on the look out for interesting new children's books. Great post!

Christina/Book Addict said...

This seems like a great opportunity. Thanks for sharing the photos and your experience with us. I love picture books and I wish I used them more in the classroom, because some teachers use them so effectively at the middle level. Oh, and Wanda and the Alien looks really fun! Great post, Becky!