The Ammuchi Puchi


A while ago, I was contacted by a publishing company through instagram, and asked to take a look at two of their recent picture book releases. This is what I love about social media, it connects people and organisations with common interests, who may never have crossed paths, and, this particular instance of it, I’m very grateful for, as I now have two beautiful books to share with you (The Tigon and the Liger will be coming soon to the blog!).

The first, however, is The Ammuchi Puchi, written by Sharanya Manivannan, illustrated by Nerina Canzi and published by Lantana Publishing.

Read more

An ode to art doers and art viewers.


I’m just sneaking sheepishly into my BOOK blog to make an apology for the lack of books lately!! Here’s why. You see, over on Twitter, some crazy custard started a thing. This human renamed October to Inktober and challenged people to post an ink drawing every day throughout the month. This year, I decided, with foolhardy abandon, to take part.

Well, it’s been a bit of an eye opener if I’m honest. I’ve always been a frustrated artist. I’ve always wanted to be able to sketch, but just found it SO difficult. Most of my artwork, therefore, has been computer based. It’s my comfort zone, feels safe. My computer will help me straighten wonky lines, get the perfect colour or allow me to duplicate elements so that I don’t have one huge bulging eye and a tiny creepy one. Actual, real life drawing daunts me. Once marks are on the paper, it’s not that easy to remove them, even with ALL the expensive erasers!!

So, over the past month, I committed to the challenge of inktober, and most importantly and most frighteningly, posting every single one publicly on Twitter, Instagram and (when I finally got the courage) Facebook, regardless of how good or bad they were.

I chose to do all my drawings in one notepad so I couldn’t keep practicing them (my expensive erasers are now just stubs!!!), and as a result have been forced to post a lot of drawings that I’ve been quite unhappy with, or really hated in some cases. But here’s the funny thing, in every instance, no matter how good or bad, people have greeted my inktobers with warmth and enthusiasm, lovely comments, likes and sometimes been prompted to share their own stories. Every single comment and nice reaction has gone into my heart and given me the confidence to try a little harder. To maybe not worry quite so much about achieving perfection, or trying to become as good as the great ones I happen across daily.

And, interestingly, my most successful inktobers, were not the best drawn ones, but the ones that were inspired by people I love, even if I didn’t actually mention the people in them. It seems that when you inject a piece of yourself into your art, it makes a splash and causes a beautiful ripple effect.

I know many authors and illustrators through blogging, and I quickly witnessed that so many artists, whether story writers & tellers, poets, musicians or illustrators are fighting constant self doubt and inner criticism. Despite appearances creative work doesn’t come easily to ANY of these people. They work bloomin hard at it, and I realised that just maybe they question themselves as much as I do.

Taking part in inktober has taught me that art does not have to be flawless, we may not always be happy with what we produce, but if it evokes feeling, or smiles, or memories in even just one person, then it has done a good thing!

So thank you, to all those kind people who have liked, shared, commented on any of my inktobers, or just generally egged me on. I love you for that. The self doubt monster will always lurk on my left shoulder, but on my right are people who will occasionally gag it, and to those gaggers, I’ll be more grateful than you’ll ever know. :)

Just a few more days to go, and book blogging will resume as normal (I have missed it and have an exciting book backlog). However, thanks to inktober and good friends, drawing will also continue!

So, if you ever come across some art, in whatever form, which makes you react, laugh, smile, cry or feel, then please, if you can, tell the creator, whoever they are. I believe, in fact I know, it will mean a lot.

I will, sometime soon, be adding a page to Book Monsters, showing all of my inktober efforts, good and bad, so watch this space for that if you’re curious.

Thank you for reading this. Book people, authors and publishers, thanks for bearing with me while I’ve played with pens!


Duck Gets a Job


Over 10 years ago, I decided to leave a career that I had planned on being in for most of my school life. That was quite a terrifying thing! And one day, I walked in a job interview for THE most perfect job. I bumbled my way nervously through an interview, and thankfully, managed to persuade them to give me the job (not sure how that happened). So, I now work in a children’s library, and I love it! It changed my life for the better in a multitude of ways. THIS is the power of finding your place, and doing a job you enjoy.

Duck Gets a Job, written and illustrated by Sonny Ross and published by Templar Publishing takes a unique look into the world of work through the eyes of a rather anxious duck!

Read more

Build the Dragon


So, sunday afternoon and blogging to catch up on. So, what do I find myself doing? Sprawled on the floor building a dragon of course! All in the name of blogging you understand! Because this was for the book Build the Dragon written by Dugald Steer, illustrated by Jonathan Woodward and Douglas Carrel and published by Templar Publishing.

Read more