My new book from Barrington Stoke will be published in February 2016.It is called Grey Island Red Boat. Below is the cover.
My collection of poems under the title Behind The Dusty Glass has just been published by Jennings Fine Art. It is available in two versions. Standard which has limited hand colouring in grey and shades of red at a cost of £95. Special copies are fully hand coloured and cost £195. The book was printed by Northend Creative Solutions and bound by Ludlow Bookbinders in an edition of one hundred, of which there are 26 lettered specials and 74 numbered standard copies. The wrapper is made of heavy tracing paper and evokes the dusty glass of the title which is printed directly on to the wrapper itself in scarlet.
The pattern paper design of seaweed and sun which reflects my upbringing in seaside Hove Sussex.
My first four books dating from 1983 onwards have been gathered together in one bumper paperback volume, The Oxford Treasury of Nursery Rhymes which will be published on September the 4th 2014. Below is one of the illustrations, the figure of the baby is based on my son Laurence who was a baby at the time and is now a strapping healthy thirty year old, tempus really does fugit.
This is the revised front cover for The Disappearance of Tom Pile which is due to be published by Random House Children’s Books in February 2015. More news on that as and when. I am currently writing the follow up book and there will I hope be a book trailer for book one soon. Here is the synopsis for book one. On a bitterly cold winter’s night in 1900, a young boy disappears without trace from the forest near his home in the quiet village of Litton Cheney. He is never found, but the man he was with claims he was snatched by angels. Forty years later, Corporal Jack Carmody is sent to investigate strange reports of mysterious lights above Litton Cheney. The villagers suspect German bombers overhead, but Carmody is gifted with a special sixth sense, and knows there’s something far more intriguing going on. And when a terrified boy appears in the graveyard, convinced it’s the year 1900, it’s up to Carmody and his boss – the charismatic Captain Holloway – to uncover the truth.
A test page for a possible hand colouring from my new collection of poems Behind The Dusty Glass which will be published by Jennings Fine Art in November 2014
I shall be taking part in this celebratory day at Greenside School on May 10th. I will be selling a very limited number of Author & Illustrator signed books including Aladdin & His Enchanted Lamp and Puss in Boots by Philip Pullman.
My Lithograph Roman Carnival, drawn directly on the plate and printed by The Curwen Studio will also be available at the fair from Neil Jennings Fine Art.
Over forty years since I drew the outer panels for the now iconic Elton John album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. It has just been re- released as of March 23rd 2014 with a big fanfare, and in all manner of formats. Odd extras have spun off from the image over the years including mugs, clocks, guitars, and even a suit worn on tour by Sir Elton.
A finished hand coloured spread from Fugitive Lyrics, now finally and beautifully printed by Phil Abel at Hand & Eye Press in a severely limited edition of 100 copies of which 25 are hand coloured. The book was launched in November 2013 and has subsequently sold out.
Very welcome review of my Little Gems title for Barrington Stoke, The First Third Wish, taken from the Bookbag
This is a lovely story of a lost wish. Cobweb has bungled her very first assignment, losing the third wish meant for a kindly woodcutter. She managed to replace it with a spare, but her job will not be complete until the missing wish is found and returned. It seems a lost wish is very dangerous indeed as it gives the finder an unlimited supply of wishes – and not all people are careful what they wish for. As luck would have it though, the wish has found its way just to the place where it most needed, where it will result in a true happily ever after, not only for the young man who finds it, but for many others as well.
This is a lovely story for girls who love fairies and princesses, but it is so much more than the typical fairy tale with the helpless princess and heroic prince. The princess is not at all stereotypical. She doesn’t wait on a dashing hero to rescue her, but sets about rescuing herself. But everyone needs a little help sometimes and in this case it comes from a kind young man who loves the stars and astronomy as much as she does, and just happens to be having wonderful luck with wishing coming true.
I loved the idea of having a princess interested in astronomy instead of something like needlework or keeping everything tidy. I liked the idea of her having a mind of her own and helping herself rather than waiting for rescue as well. This is a nice story where goodness is rewarded, but what I liked most of all was that it all came about due to a mistake. We all make mistakes, and sometimes what seems like a disaster at the moment may work out for the best in the long run. What a lovely message for young children. The illustrations are as magical as the text. They resemble shadow puppets and really add another layer of enjoyment to this wonderful little book.
This book is part of Barrington Stoke’s Little Gem’s line for developing readers. This series is designed to support children taking their first steps to independent reading, whether they are dyslexic or not. Working with a team of experts in the field, Barrington Stoke have developed their own font which is especially designed to make reading as easy as possible for children with dyslexia. They also print all of their books on a thick, off white, non-glare paper to minimise distractions which can make reading more difficult. Although created as dyslexia friendly, this format makes reading easier for all children. My own son has often commented on how much easier it is to read these books, making reading into a truly enjoyable experience for young children.
Little Gems books have all the features of Barrington Stoke’s books for older children, but are designed for a younger age group. The easy to read text, high quality illustrations and exceptionally high interest stories give these books a wide interest range, with a relatively low reading age. Little Gems have a reading of age 6. They are recommended for children from 5-8 with average reading abilities, and ages 7-10 for struggling readers. I think this book fits very well into these age guidelines, but would suggest considering it for children as young as age 4 as a read aloud story. While this book is perfect as tool to help children develop literacy, it is good enough to easily become a bedtime favourite as well. Little Gems describes this book perfectly – it really is a gem.
The First Third Wish was published by Barrington Stoke publishers in 2013.