Tag Archives: children’s books

How to design Children’s Book Characters Using Models

mouse-shipThis video explains how I have used models to really get to know the characters in my books, in this case my Dark Claw series, a sort of Star Wars with cats and mice – or rather – Kats and Muss!

You can watch the animated version of the story on my Storytime Channel. This is the playlist for the whole series: http://bit.ly/DarkClawStory

Make sure you are subscribed to find out when the next thrilling installment is available: http://bit.ly/StorytimeSubscribe

Learn more about Dark Claw, learn how to draw the characters and and all the great Muss and Kat spaceships: http://bit.ly/DrawDarkClaw

Can’t wait? Want to read the book?

Read on Kindle Fire: http://bit.ly/DarkClawKIndle

Everyone asks about the tools I use when I’m out using my sketchbook.

The Pentel Aquash Brush is here in the Uk http://bit.ly/PentelAquabrushUK
and here in the US http://bit.ly/PentelAquashBrushUSA

Rotring Tikky Graphic in the UK here http://bit.ly/TikkyGraphicUK
in the USA http://bit.ly/TikkyGraphicUS

The Cotman sketching watercolour set is here in the UK http://amzn.to/1gNpZ8s
and in the US here: http://amzn.to/1gaG6qA

Children’s Books are where it’s at #CoverKidsBooks

#coverKidsBooksChildren’s Books are where it’s at. Why? Because, on the whole, they have a beginning a middle and and end, tell a satisfying story and often come as a series.

Children’s non fiction books are well-researched and present information in exciting and easily understandable ways. All theses books are written by the best writers and illustrated by the world’s greatest illustrators, visual artists and photographers.

In fact everything an adult would want from a book and so often doesn’t get – especially from prize-winning literary fiction.

So if you feel unsatisfied with books written for adults, pop over to the children’s section – I think you might be surprised. It’s all there, fun, tears, sadness, terror, adventure, a multitude of imagined worlds that are still as entertaining and enthralling now as they were when you were a child.

February 1st sees the start of a new campaign #CoverKidsBooks which is being promoted by Middle Grade Stikes Back

#CoverKidsBooks is a campaign for more children’s books media coverage. Our research shows that children’s books currently get just 3% of all book review space in UK national newspapers, despite accounting for over 30% of the market. We believe this needs to change.

It’s quite simple to join in, just use the hashtag #CoverKidsBooks when you talk about children’s books on social media. Maybe mention children’s books that you have liked as a reader yourself or while sharing with a child.

Literacy is the single most important skill in modern society and the route to mastery is simple – read a lot. Luckily there is a vast treasury of children’s books available, but children, and those who look after and teach them, need to know about it and they need to know what is available.

If publishers of newspapers, books and blogs want readers in the future, now is the time to grow the audience – promote children’s books and the love of reading for pleasure – for a pleasure is what it is and should be.


Where’s Wally? – He was at the Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival!

Where's-wally-I’ve been to Cardiff twice this week, for the Children’s Literature Festival, which is great fun and superbly organised.

Yesterday,a few people were waylaid on their way to my Dragon Gold storytelling and drawing session by Wally and his friends. You didn’t have to look too hard to find him as he was stopping every passerby for a chat!

On Tuesday, I spoke at a session for grown ups who would like to write for children. With me was Philippa Milnes-Smith, now a top children’s book agent, but once, long ago, she was my editor at Blackie and Puffin Books. It was great to see her again and catch up. We were introduced by author and broadcaster, Phil Carradice.

Thanks to everyone involved!