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Spend a Day in the Antarctic with an Adélie Penguin Chick!
One Day on Our Blue Planet in the Antarctic Cover

In the first part of the One Day on our Blue Planet series, we explored the grassy plains of the Savannah with a little lion cub. This time, the temperature turns a lot cooler as we follow an Adélie penguin chick throughout her day in the Antarctic. Meet all kinds of penguins and other feathered friends as she waddles along the frozen coast and  dive deep beneath the ice to find krill, fish and squid to eat… but watch out she doesn’t become food herself!

Ella Bailey stopped by and kindly answered a few questions about her beautiful new book for us:

1.It goes without saying that the Savannah and Antarctic landscapes are very different, but how did you go about showing this in the books?

The most striking (albeit obvious) difference that comes to mind is the climate! One is very hot, and the other extremely cold, and I ended up using very different colour palettes for each book in order to help convey these two extremes. Other than that, there was the obvious difference in the amount of foliage – that is, in Antarctica there really isn’t any. In fact, Antarctica is a far more barren landscape in general, so I had to find other ways of adding visual interest to the backgrounds.

2. And were there any surprising similarities?

Both areas seem to have a similar sense of vastness about them. In both the Savannah and Antarctica everything seems to be very large and spaced out, including the animals, so at times I had to sort of compress things a little bit so they would fit within the confines of a double-page spread!

3. How did you reference One Day on our Blue Planet- without travelling to the Antarctic, did you go to zoos or watch nature documentaries?

I did visit a zoo – unfortunately they didn’t have any whales, although I did see a few penguins! They weren’t the right species, but they were still very cute. I mostly watched some nature documentaries and clips, and used google images alongside certain websites. Some of the more obscure animals (I’m looking at you, Arnoux’s beaked whale!) were particularly difficult to find references of, although I suppose that is understandable considering where they like to live!

4. The books are non-fiction but you wouldn’t necessarily know it! What were the challenges in storytelling factual information to a young audience?

The main challenge for me was integrating the facts into the storytelling in a natural way, that didn’t feel too overwhelming, dry, or heavy-handed. I think we actually managed to do this by keeping the text itself to a minimum, and following the classic mantra of ‘show, don’t tell’! I also enjoy using the endpapers of the books as an extra, fun way of delivering information outside of the main story itself.

5. Which creators are you most influenced by? Both legendary illustrators and fresh new talent.

There are so many! Mary Blair is one of my all-time favourites, alongside Miroslav Sasek, Alain Gree and Charley Harper. For more contemporary illustrators, I am a big fan of Meg Hunt and Isabelle Arsenault, Marc Boutavant, Icinori, Kenard Pak… Those are just a few, I could go on for a very long time!

Thanks Ella!

Take this little penguin home and grab your copy here!

One Day on our Blue Planet Penguins

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Minilab Studios is hiring a middleweight Unity app developer!
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Minilab Studios is the brand new creative production company from Nobrow and Flying Eye Books, set up to make the most beautiful, engaging digital products that children can get their hands on.

We have just launched our first children’s app, Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System on iOS, which was based on a popular Flying Eye non-fiction picture book, Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space, by illustrator Ben Newman and quantum physicist Dr Dominic Walliman.

We have access to a large and valuable catalogue of IP through our sister companies, but we will also be seeking innovative ways to build our own stories, characters and universes to push the boundaries of gaming and digital education into new frontiers. We are looking for enthusiastic team members to help us do this!

About the role

We would love to work with somebody who:

– has 3+ years professional experience in game development with Unity (both 2D and 3D) and C#.
– is passionate about games and interactive media (children’s sector a plus).
– has a good understanding of mobile development and the relevant technologies, screen sizes and operating systems.
– is good at maths.
– has a head for good UX and slick UI.
– can competently use the Unity UI system to work across all screen-shapes and sizes.
– is keen to learn how to use new plug-ins
– has an understanding of animation, physics and particle engines.
– is comfortable animating with code.
– has a grasp of graphics editing software such as Photoshop, Illustrator etc.
– has shipped at least 2 mobile titles to market (iOS and Android).
– is able to give examples of previous projects and explain levels of involvement.
– displays tidy programming practices and can take care of optimisation/file size etc.
– always strives to make the best product possible.
– can be instrumental in planning out scopes of work.
– is a good communicator and works well within a creative environment.
– is forthcoming with new ideas and keeps abreast of tech news.

Nice-to-haves:

– familiarity with the Flash IDE.
– an eye for design.
– some knowledge of 3D packages such as Maya.
– an interest in AR experiences.

The role will be contract-based with a view to becoming a fulltime in-house member of the team at our offices in East London.

You will primarily be working alongside our lead creative as well as an animator.

Market rate salary based on experience.
Applicants must be able to work in the UK.

If you fit the bill and are interested in joining us on our exciting new foray into the world of digital, we would love to hear from you!

Applications should be sent to [email protected] stating ‘DEVELOPER APPLICANT’ in the subject field. Please include links to your best work and a bit about yourself.

Deadline extended!

Application deadline: Friday 23rd October 2015.

We will contact you by Friday 30th October 2015 if we would like to interview you.

Minilab Studios

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