The first book of this series came out in April. It can sometimes be a bit confusing working on a set of books that are being published at relatively short intervals. Whilst book one was appearing in the shops I was working on the illustrations for book two and simultaneously working on the cover for book three! I keep getting the books mixed up in my head. Here’s a rough pencil-version of an illustration from book two, with the CT gang on the hunt for mischievous creature!
Creature Teacher writer Sam Watkins had a very busy launch event at Thomas A Becket School in Worthing in May. She spent the whole day doing short events with children from years 1 and 3 – I think she was losing her voice by the end of it all.
I joined her for the afternoon sessions to do a bit of drawing whilst she read from the book. It was a lot of fun but quite exhausting! It was the first time Sam and I had actually met (she is lovely, thank goodness!). Sam even made some swirly biscuits to match the book cover design. I can personally vouch for how tasty they were.
Here’s a pic of us at the end-of-day signing (we didn’t play the bongos, alas). Not sure who took this photo – apologies for pinching it.
Our visit even made it into the Worthing Herald. Oh, the heady heights of fame. Here’s a clipping from Sam’s Twitter feed:
(You can read the online version here.)
We ran a competition at the school to design a cover for a Creature Teacher book – you can see all the entries at the CT website here. I love how much energy there is in all the drawings, but then it is a very energetic book!
More recently, Sam and I visited Brighton Waterstones for a drawing and reading session. Everyone got to design their own Creature Teachers, drawing or doing a bit of collage. Here’s some photos from Sam’s Twitter:
It’s great doing events with someone else – you get to bounce ideas off each other, as well as providing a bit of support. Sam and I will be doing more events together at some point soon.
Whilst in Brighton for the Waterstones shindig I popped along to the Brighton Illustration Fair, part of the town’s fringe festival.
It was good to catch up with comics chums Joe Decie, Warwick Johnson Cadwell and Amber Hsu, who all had tables, as well as bump into Matt Baxter.
Lots of lovely things to see, but I was very much taken with the drawing activity they had: rotating towers of cardboard boxes that you could draw on in a heads-and-tails fashion. Worth bearing in mind for a future event.
I was thrilled to see Whitchurch School in Hampshire have been reading Monster and Chips as part of their Year 4 book group. The readers have been creating their own monsters and even making up their own ‘delicious’ menu:
- Bashed Beetleburger AND CHIPS
- Slimy Slug Surprise with antennae eyes
- Eyeball soup with slug slime chips
- Bogey burger gravy AND CHIPS
- Smelly cabbage soup with poo plop croutons
- Earwax tart
Poo plop croutons! Tasty. I hope you enjoy the rest of the book – I love seeing people’s reactions to it. Thanks to librarian and book evangelist Jo for the tip-off!
Sarah has been very busy – and successful – with her Pictures Mean Business Campaign, trying to get more recognition for book illustrators in their contribution to a book’s success. You can find out more here, or follow the #PicturesMeanBusiness hashtag on Twitter