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Reza Dalvand on Mrs Bibi’s Elephant

Just as spring sprung, and the blossom bloomed (and the world went into lockdown) in April, we released Mrs Bibi’s Elephant beautifully illustrated by talent Reza Dalvand, a Tehran-based illustrator and author of children’s books.

A heart-warming story with a message as big as an elephant, this fanciful tale of friendship between an eccentric lady and her beloved pet is as poignant as it is beautiful!

Eager to know more about Reza’s new book and the process behind it? We caught up with him to tell us more on this gently uplifting tale that has the feel of a modern fable and is a timely reminder about the importance of friendship and acceptance.

Flying Eye Books: Mrs Bibi’s Elephant is a charming story about a lady and her beloved pet. What inspired you to write this story? 

Reza Dalvand: The base of the story was from a few years ago, when my neighbour had a cat. She was an old woman who lived with a cat and she spent all her time with that cat. It was a little weird to others, but I thought they were so cute. So, I mixed it with so many dreams and a drama, and of course a giant elephant! 

FEB: Is there a meaningful message that you want to teach children through Mrs Bibi’s story? 

RD: Yes, I would love for the readers to feel the love and friendship and to understand and accept different thoughts and lifestyles. And I refer to the last page of the book, I hope everyone learns that home is more than just a place for fancy objects and economics. It’s a place for living.

FEB: What do you love most about writing and illustrating for children’s books? 

RD: Being a creator! It’s super when I think about an idea, and then I write, illustrate and give it to children! I can share my dreams, my thoughts and my emotions with others! It’s wonderful that I can be a part of families around the world. When I write and illustrate a book, I think how can I be effective. I’d like children back to my books several times and learn, enjoy and laugh.

FEB: The illustrations are as charming and beautiful as the story of Mrs Bibi and her elephant. Could you tell us about your creative process?

RD: Oh, thank you! At first, I choose a suitable paper, it’s important to me. I prefer heavy and rough papers. Normally my sketches are without details (although the sketches of Mrs Bibi’s Elephant were with details) and some of aspects come by improvisation and I don’t know what will happen at the end! I finished the book by oil colour, pencil, crayon and marker. My favourite technique is oil colour in the mix with other tools.

FEB: What sort of challenges do you encounter as the writer and illustrator? 

RD: I think to make a balance between marketing and personal creativity. I have a lot of personal great ideas for making a book, but I know some of them are not good for the market. It depends on the country, culture, language and marketing criteria. Sometimes the publishers ask me to change some lines or illustrations! Although I would love my books be without any change, I do know some of these changes are effective in selling the book and it’s better to trust them :)

FEB: If you could have any animal as a pet just like in Mrs Bibi’s Elephant, who would be your companion? And why? 

RD: I love birds but I think dogs are best friends for human. They have been with us for 15,000 years and we know each other pretty well. The story talks about love of nature and a big elephant is a symbol of kindness. So, we can have a love of elephant in the heart and keep a pet like a dog or a cat. I have a cute dog, too. Her name is Tzores (although we don’t live together now).

FEB: And finally, what advice would you give to other author/illustrators interested in making books for a young audience?

RD: Don’t despair and keep going! Read and watch more of other artists, different types and genres! Talk with kids and ask them what they want, their dreams and fears. They will be your main fans. Try different materials and finally, you will find which one is yours. And take care, exercise and stay healthy! An artist needs a well body to create ;)

Order a copy of Mrs Bibi’s Elephant here.

 


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Philip Giordano on I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast

In this time of strange uncertainty and worry, so many of you have been loving the bright and beautiful illustrations from I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast, so to tell you a bit more about them, we had a (socially distant) chat with their creator, Philip Giordano.

Born in a small coastal town in Liguria, Italy, to a Filipina mother and Swiss father, Philip Giordano is a tireless globetrotter, who now lives and works in Tokyo. After studying at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and at the European Institute of Design, he earned a Master in Animation in Turin. He works for a number of magazines and publishing houses around the world, illustrating book covers, designing toys, and creating children’s books and animations.
The simple and colorful shapes of his illustrations, his iconic characters, and his graphic landscapes render his unique style immediately recognizable and transform his stories into breathtaking visual journeys. 

Flying Eye Books: The illustrations of I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast are absolutely stunning and brimming with life from all kinds of habitats. Where did you get your inspiration for the book?

Philip Giordano: When I was young, I grew up surrounded by plants. I was lucky because my home in Italy is located between the sea and the green Ligurian countryside. My mother taught me her love for gardening. I remember that inside the house we had large trunks where she planted the orchids she brought from the Philippines (her native country) and other exotic plants that she grew to feel connected to her Asian roots. It felt like being in a jungle.

As a child, I was struck by a photo of Margaret Mee (a British botanical artist specialized in plants from the rainforest and ecological activist) in one of my mum’s gardening magazines. She was suspended over the forest intent on painting the flower of a species that blooms only at night (I think it was called Moonflower).

So I started collecting plants and became a plant nerd at an early age, hoping one day to become like her: a sort of brave 19th-century explorer and discoverer of new species. And I knew for sure that I wanted to draw them!

FEB: Illustrating text written by expert ecologist and educator Michael Holland, did you learn a lot of things about the wildlife you never knew before?

PG: I already had some knowledge of the plant world, but working on “I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast” I discovered a lot of facts, especially from chapter three where Michael explains how much plants are present in and connected to our daily life. For example, when he talks about a fern from New Zealand that Māori hunters would use to find their way back home after hunting at night because the undersides of these plants’ fronds are visible. I was amazed to learn this! 

FEB: Working with educational and factual text on nature did you find it difficult to accurately illustrate plant and animal anatomy whilst making sure the children understand the processes of nature visually?

PG: The main challenge was to create scientific illustrations while maintaining my geometric, abstract, colourful and surreal style. I hope I stuck a good balance amongst all these elements.

To introduce the world of plants to children, I created a group of humanised quirky insect characters led by “Little Square”, a square-shaped fly, that appear throughout the book.

FEB: What is your creative process when working on a children’s book? How does this differ to other work you’ve been commissioned for?

PG: It’s my first non-fiction book and there is a lot of illustrated page: 114! As I’ve never done a book before dedicated exclusively to plants, it was something completely new, regarding both the non-fiction aspect as well as the amount of work to be managed in a limited time. It was a bit overwhelming, but also very exciting.

Fortunately, I got to work with an excellent team. I’d like to thank the remarkable designers for their outstanding direction as well as my dear agent for her reassurance in difficult moments.

FEB: And was there a most challenging part you found working on I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast?

PG: One of the difficult parts was managing the work in different locations. During the making of the book, I was travelling a lot for work. The storyboard part started in the Japanese countryside and ended around Taiwan and Honk Kong. Most of the final illustrations were made in my hometown in Italy.

I was fortunate in that I got ideas by directly observing the flora in the different countries I visited. Like some strange fruits eaten in Hong Kong, or tropical ferns spotted in Taiwan, or ancient pine trees in Japan. I tried to put these things into the book. (You can spot them ;) )

FEB: Your artwork is SO vibrant and bursting with energy, where do you get your colour inspiration from? And how do you create your textures?

PG: From my childhood, from all the time I spent alone in the fields watching insects and other small creatures all day long. From a book, found in Tokyo before starting the project, about fabrics and wallpapers from the fifteenth century to the present day. There are beautiful and unusual palettes. I create my textures by scanning patterns made using monotype techniques, ink brush strokes, collage out of old paper.

FEB: The animals and plants illustrated in geometric, dramatic art style have such beautiful quality. How did you develop this visual style?

PG: approached illustration because I wanted to reproduce the beauty of natural creatures, their colour and their complexity. My course in naturalistic painting (20 years ago!) gave me the basis to faithfully reproduce things with pictorial mediums. I still have the hobby of painting realistically on wooden boards.

At a certain point, however, I was fed up with representing reality, with all its shadows, shades, perfect proportions and boring rules on perspective. I needed to simplify, tidy up, see things from another point of views. This coincided with my arrival in Japan where I’ve been living for the last 9 years. In particular, I immediately fell in love with a certain essential and geometric Japanese graphic style from the 1950s (Takashi Kono) and started to observe and study them. It was a natural process. And, I was in Japan where the abstraction of forms is the basis of their aesthetics.

FEB: If forced to pick just one plant, which is your favourite of all?

PG: From the plants I draw, one of my favourites is the tulip with its bulb and roots. One of my favourite plants (a Plant that I want at home with me) is the big fern tree! I think I miss the jungle house of my childhood.

FEB: And what was your most favourite part of the book to illustrate?

PG: I had fun creating the compositions of the 4 chapters. One of my favourite pages is “Watery World”.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions Philip!

You can order a copy of I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast here and find downloadable activities to do at home here.


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Nobrow & Flying Eye Information for Online Book Readings

Through this time of quarantine and isolation, we feel that sharing stories is now even more important than ever. We want to make this as easy as possible for everyone but we do owe it to the creators of our books to be able to let them know that it’s happening, and where possible encourage people to get hold of their books too.

In order to encourage reading and classroom read-aloud experiences, and to support schools and public libraries forced to close by the escalating COVID-19 outbreak, Nobrow and Flying Eye Books are permitting teachers, librarians and booksellers and bloggers to create and share story time and read-aloud videos and live events for families stuck at home, according to the following guidelines:

For Teachers and Educators providing distance learning to students in a virtual classroom setting:

  • Story time or classroom read-aloud videos in which a Nobrow or Flying Eye  book is read aloud and the book is displayed (for picture books) may be created and posted to closed educational platforms such as Google Classroom, Schoology, Edmodo and Discovery Education, Dojo in order to replicate the read-aloud book experience that would otherwise be available to educators in the classroom.
  • If a Teacher or Educator plans to share a story time video by recording a video, uploading it to a YouTube channel, and posting a link to that YouTube video inside a closed educational platform, that YouTube video must be designated as “Unlisted” (not “Public”) when uploading. See screenshot for how to choose “Unlisted” while uploading on YouTube.
  • These story time and classroom read-aloud videos may be hosted on the educational platform and/or YouTube (as an “Unlisted” file) until the end of the current school year, after which we request that they be removed from the educational platform and/or from YouTube, unless this permission is extended for the next school semester.

For Booksellers, Librarians & Bloggers who wish to provide a story time reading or other read-aloud experience: 

  • Story time or read-aloud live events in which a Nobrow or Flying Eye book is read out loud and the book is displayed may be streamed live, in real time, on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we’d love it if where possible you could tag us in @NobrowPress or @FlyingEyeBooks and the creator(s) of the book along with a link to buy the book. We will also share your reading to our followers.

Reporting requirements – We ask that all educators, librarians, booksellers & bloggers please email [email protected] to let us know of the reading, so that we can let the creator(s) know that it’s happening and also help to share it to a wider audience.


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David Doran on Orchestra

We sat down with award winning illustrator David Doran, who we recently had the delight of working with on Orchestra, a beautiful large format book which is the perfect introduction for budding musicians and those with a passion for the orchestra.

From atmospheric film soundtracks to exhilarating live performances, the dazzling sound of the orchestra is unmistakable. Within Orchestra you can meet the performers who bring the music to life, the instruments that take centre stage and discover the beauty behind each and every note.

We picked David’s brains on everything from his own passion for music to how he puts together his elegant and inspiring illustrations. Read on below for more!

Whilst your drawings for the book are very clean and digital, they also feel very vibrant and full of life. Do you immediately draw onto a tablet or iPad, or do your illustrations start life in a sketchbook?

My process has gradually become more digital over the years, through working on projects and finding the most efficient ways to work. Though, I always do my best to maintain the handmade quality…I love seeing slightly wobbly lines and the artists hand in work!

Is this illustrative process the same when working on editorial work as well as on books?

Editorial timings can involve such quick turnarounds, sometimes a week, sometimes a matter of hours. I enjoy the challenge of thinking fast, working up concepts and speeding towards a quick deadline.

With this book, I spent nearly 3.5yrs with the idea, working with the team at Flying Eye, gradually developing the concept and working hard to make the book the best book it can be.

Orchestra has a beautiful colour palette full of complimentary peaches and blues, how did you come to settle on the colour choices for the book?

l wanted the colours in this book to be striking, warm, engaging and joyful. I have very specific memories of certain books I had as a child, vivid colours and lines;  I loved Orlando the Marmalade Cat the drawings were beautiful. I can picture my favourite spreads, and how the colours always stood out. With the more traditional printing process of these books being so clear to see, often using 3 or 4 main colours that overlap to create the full palette, I wanted to reference this directly in Orchestra, by using only 4 grounding colours in the palette myself. The difficult part was to find 4 colours that gave the book enough variety from each page to page.

The subjects of your illustrations seem to always be lovely and varied, from landscapes to people, full colour spreads to spot illustrations. You utilise this whole wide range of skills in Orchestra – did you have a favourite part of the book to illustrate?

I think that the variation from page to page is what makes a book so special to have. There’s a lovely transition as you turn the page and the opportunity to show the variety and surprise the reader with each turn is something that I wanted to make the most of.

My favourite part of the book was illustrating all the different characters on each page and including small details for readers to gradually find (birds stealing breadcrumbs, mice hiding on stairwells…). As a child, I loved pouring over the details and I’m hoping children can have the same experience of finding something new on each page with Orchestra.

And was there a most challenging part?

There’s a lot of detail and intricate information in the book that needs to be shown correctly. The most challenging part was creating and designing the layouts of each page that show the information both accurately and also engagingly.

Some of the illustrations of instruments are quite technical, how was this to work on?

Yes, there’s so much detail to capture on the instruments, and it’s very important to get it right when creating something educational. I had a lot of input from the team at Flying Eye who checked all the details with a professional.

What’s your own relationship with music like?

I love music! We have music playing in the studio almost all day (with a few podcast exceptions). I’ll often listen to Orchestral music when I’m reading briefs or emailing, as I find it great to concentrate too and often get a little distracted from reading when there is singing.

And finally, do you have any advice for any new illustrators who are interested in book illustration?

Enjoy what you’re making and find ways to make it personal to you!


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Hilda and the Mountain King Launch Events

So as I’m sure all you Hilda Folk are aware, the sixth instalment in the award-winning Hilda comic book series by Luke Pearson is set to be released at the beginning of September!

(And if you haven’t ordered your copy yet, you can preorder directly from Nobrow.net and your book will be shipped up to two whole weeks early 👀)

To celebrate we’ve organised a series of signings and workshops with Luke, where you can meet Hilda’s creator himself and pick up your own copy of Hilda and the Mountain King

Friday 30th August: Forbidden Planet Signing

Join Luke at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore, where he’ll be signing and sketching away from 5pm to 7pm

See more info at the Facebook event here

Address: Forbidden Planet, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR

Saturday 31st August: Gosh! Comics Workshop

This daytime event will be running from 11am to 1pm, and is a family friendly workshop for children aged 5 and up. Luke will be on hand to help you make your very own Hilda adventure!

Address: Gosh! Comics, 1 Berwick Street, Soho, London, W1F 0DR

Saturday 7th September

This is a daytime sign and sketch session at Page45 in Nottingham, from 12 to 2pm

Address: Page45, 9 Market Street, Nottingham, NG1 6HY

We hope to see some of you there, and don’t forget to tag either @FlyingEyeBooks or @NobrowPress in any photos on social media!


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Talking Ancient Wonders with Avalon Nuovo

I’m sure we can all agree that the artwork for Ancient Wonders, our latest non-fiction Flying Eye title about the mysteries and marvels of the Ancient World, is absolutely stunning.

Fully illustrated throughout by Avalon Nuovo, you can feel the awe-inspiring nature of everything from the Pyramids of Giza to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon emanating through the pages. The depth and sense of scale that Avalon creates in her illustrations is incredibly impressive – bringing a monument to life that hasn’t actually been seen for thousands of years is no small feat! 

To celebrate the publication of Ancient Wonders we decided to dig a little bit deeper into Avalon’s working process, and she let us in on some of the secrets behind how she puts together her illustrations.

Avalon was also generous enough to send us some of her work-in-progress videos, which document her entire drawing process. See below for a time-lapse of one of her double page spreads coming to life!

So how do you begin your illustrations, do you use one program for every element? 

For the roughs, I always work in Photoshop on a big Cintiq monitor. The roughs of each page are really more about design than they are about drawing, so I’ve found it really important to do the roughs on a large screen, where I can view each spread at the same size as the printed book while I’m drawing. If I don’t, I often make something that looks nice at half-size, but when it’s enlarged to actual size, it might look totally awkward! 

I tend to make the rough illustrations really, really detailed— they’re in black and white, but I basically paint in all of the darks and lights and make it look pretty finished. Sometimes it feels like a lot of work for something that really only a handful of people will see, but it’s so helpful to to be super clear when showing the designer/editor what exactly what it’s going to look like, so that we can do all the decision-making before the final illustration. 

It’s also a lot more enjoyable for me to make all those decisions in the sketches, so that when I do the final illustrations, I get to sit back and let my mind wander and just enjoy the drawing (and some music/podcasts/netflix to keep me company!)

And what do you do when it’s time to move on from the roughs?

Once they’re all approved, I turn the photoshop files into flat JPEGs and send them to my iPad. I use Procreate on my iPad Pro to make the final illustrations, and as you can see from the time-lapse videos, I basically use the rough sketch as an underlay. 

I usually draw over all the linework first with the sketch at low opacity underneath. After that, I keep the sketch layer turned off while I fill in the color, but I continue to use it as reference for all the lighting and darks/lights that I’ve already figured out in the rough sketch. I send it back to my computer when I’m done, change the document from RGB color mode to CMYK (Procreate only support sRGB at the moment— hopefully that changes soon!), and it’s done! 

What makes you prefer using an iPad over a computer? 

I could definitely do the final artwork on my computer, but using my iPad really just became a habit because— aside from the fact that I LOVE the workflow in Procreate— I had to do a fair bit of traveling for Christmas holidays and other jobs while I was working on Ancient Wonders, and working on my iPad meant that I could be working on final illustrations pretty much anywhere. 

That’s made for some really nice memories associated with the book, personally— when I look at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon spread, I remember working on it while watching an (American) football game with my family in northern California while visiting for Christmas, and when I look at the Inspiration: Artemis spread, I remember making it while on a trip to Finland to meet my partner’s family for the first time!

And what about the analogue vs. digital debate, are you firmly a digital person?

I actually really love working with analogue media— I’m a really dedicated sketchbook keeper and when I’m making illustrations just for fun, I still find it most satisfying to use ink, gouache and colored pencils. 

I have two desks in my home studio— one with my monitor/computer, and one that has a tilting top for good old-fashioned drawing. I haven’t used it a lot these days though— ultimately I’ve realized that because my work is so detailed, it’s more realistic to work digitally for my professional work. 

As a result, I haven’t used traditional materials much lately— nowadays my drawing desk is where my partner sits so that we can keep each other company while we both work late into the night (or, now that my partner has finished their thesis, so that we can still hang out while I work and they play Skyrim!)


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Hilda: A Definitive Guide

Hands up who’s been watching Hilda the series?

Invented by Luke Pearson, beloved by us, Hilda follows the adventures of a fearless blue-haired girl as she travels from her home in a vast magical wilderness full of elves and giants, to a bustling city packed with new friends and mysterious creatures

And whether you’ve been following the Netflix series or not, you can follow along with Hilda’s adventures in our illustrated fiction series!

These tie-in titles expand on Hilda’s adventure’s in the show’s first series, giving you a new insight into both Hilda’s world and her own thoughts and feelings

This makes the books perfect for either a lover of the animated series, or someone only just setting out on their first Hilda adventure

There’s three titles in this series so far:

Each book is beautifully illustrated by Seaerra Miller, who captures all the citizens of Trollberg perfectly

And if you didn’t already know, Hilda actually first began as a graphic novel way back when we published Luke Pearson’s Hilda and the Troll! Have a look at a page below and you can see how far Luke Pearson’s drawing style has changed

Since Hilda and the Troll we’ve published four more graphic novels following her journey:

And in September 2019 we will be publishing Hilda and the Mountain King, the next instalment in the series that will follow on from The Stone Forest’s chilling cliffhanger ending…


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ELCAF: The Recap

Zines, comics, sun, beer – this years ELCAF had it all!

It’s coming up to a month since the end of East London’s greatest (at least in our opinion) annual comics and illustration fair, so we thought we’d do a little recap

A huge huge thank you to everyone who came and braved the weekend crowds for some illustrated goodness, the fest was one of the busiest it’s ever been

Whilst there’s almost too much to mention, we’ve picked out a couple of highlights to show you below…

The festival’s artist in residence, Jon McNaught, was selling some of his beautiful prints all weekend, whilst also signing copies of Kingdom. Jon also did a sold-out talk on the process of creating Kingdom, branching out to speak more generally about printmaking, poetry, and the use of comics to explore distant memories and the passing of time

Tom Haugomat’s stencil workshop created some amazing works of printed art – all with only the use of simple stamp ink pads! You could also find Tom at our own Nobrow stall, signing copies of the wonderful Through A Life

We also loved taking part in Carles Porta’s Silly Ballet workshop, creating dancing stop motion works of art

David Biskup was the winner of 2019’s ELCAF x WeTransfer Award, where he won funding to complete his book There’s Only One Place This Road Ever Ends Up. We can’t wait to see what David gets up to over the next year- make sure to come to ELCAF 2020 to see the results!

Here’s a few more photos of the fest to keep you busy, and we hope to see you all again next year!


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10 Tips to Foster Emotional Intelligence in Children

 

By Rachel Woodworth

As a child, my personality was quiet and reserved, but my feelings were noisy. I was a stomper and a door-slammer — tucked in the middle of the sibling order. In retrospect, I see those characters from the animated movie, Inside Out sitting at the dashboard, haphazardly pushing buttons and battling for control. They acted independently of me, and they longed for expression — longed to be seen and heard (ahem — stomp, stomp). They often appeared in writing: in notes and stories, in journal entries and, as a small girl, in posters strewn across the house for my parents to find, depicting my honest, and probably unhelpful, feelings regarding the discipline of practicing piano (“I HATE PIANO”).

Sharp edges soften. That angry sadness, along with its note-scrawling, door-slamming and foot-stomping, finds a fullness of expression and, often, a quietness. That once-slammed door is sheepishly opened. This is the arc that my first picture book, Out, Out, Away From Here (illustrated by Sang Miao), follows. The story moves readers from the fullness of that noisy feeling — of MAD-SAD-GLAD — to a peace and quiet that we can all find within the space of our own imaginations. No matter how small, we all need to learn emotional intelligence, and that requires practice, care, and patience.

Though I don’t have formal child psychology training, I have spent a lot of time with children, teaching them and learning from them, in daycares and preschools, as a private tutor, as a homeschool teacher. Children have a lot to teach us. They navigate the world with lighthearted wonder, with honest and direct thought and feeling, and with an attention to the present moment. As we teach and care and parent them, we have much to learn from them — to learn together.

How do we encourage emotional intelligence in young children? How do we empower kids to cope with and carry feelings in healthy ways?

1. Remember, Feelings Begin Physically

Tantrums, stomping, frowning, fist-clenching. Identifying feelings is a challenge for all of us — grown-up or not. Young children may only know how to verbally express happy, sad, and mad. While still learning ways to channel and show these feelings, they will express themselves physically. We can help children to identify the clues their bodies/behaviors give them about those unnamed feelings.

2. Encourage, empower, and guide children to name their own feelings

Ask open-ended, exploratory questions. Try to veer away from questions with yes/no answers. Example: How are you feeling? What happened to make you feel this way? What can we do to calm you down or cheer you up?

3. Affirm that feelings are legitimate

Feeling sad, tired, grumpy, nervous, excited — these feelings are real and often important. Let children know that this is normal and okay, that adults feel these too. Share your experiences and strategies with children. When you’re feeling a certain way, how do you cope? We may not choose our feelings, but we can choose how to express them. My parents’ repeated advice was this: “you may be feeling this way, but you don’t need to act this way” (this was usually tired and grumpy, they were referring to).

4. Allow space

Children need access to the outdoors to experience the quiet, beauty, and wonder of nature. Feelings need room to spread out.

5. Step back

In the midst of noisy feelings, children and caretakers can benefit from a pause. “Taking five” was a tool I used in the classroom to allow students (often frustrated and unproductive) five minutes to use in their own, quiet way — often with a pile of books. They, and I, often returned to the task more calm and ready.

6. Read illustrated books aloud

This medium offers children language higher than their level of expression — but not their level of understanding. Books give kids a greater ability to hold and communicate feelings.

7. Give feelings feet!

Encourage children to let their feelings move. If they’re happy feelings — or any sort of feeling, really — dance! As an adult, too, I have to remind myself to sometimes leave my brain and heart behind. Take a walk, write in a journal, create art, play. Move!

8. Help children to recognize that feelings are temporary

A wise friend of mine says you feel feelings — but you aren’t your feelings. Imagine them like visitors. How can we take care of them while they’re here? What can we learn from them? They’ll show themselves out, when they’re ready. They’ll come and go again.

9. Teach that caring for ourselves helps us to care for others

Learning to recognize and care for our own emotions is a necessary precursor to practicing compassion. Encouraging children to know and recognize their own feelings will help them to observe the same in others — and to practice compassion.

10. Remind children that feelings are complicated and that it’s okay

Feelings are often more muddled-up than happy, sad, or mad, but that makes it so important to talk through them.

The world of feelings is wonderful and complicated. It’s a world we all carry within us, child and adult alike. Guiding children to carry their emotions in appropriate ways will lead to healthier children and, someday, healthier adults — capable of caring for themselves and for others. Join me in a journey we all take, over and over again, out, out, away from here — through that mountainous terrain of feeling.

(Art by Sang Miao, © Flying Eye Books)

Download your own copy of this poster: low-res, or high-res.

Rachel Woodworth grew up in Canada and graduated from a liberal arts university in the United States. With an ongoing wonder with words and the world, writing has accompanied her for the whole of her travels. Out, Out, Away From Here (published by Flying Eye Books) is Rachel’s first book and is available now. She is currently living in Tanzania.


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Visit Us at TLA in Dallas!

Texas Librarians, come see us at TLA at Booth #2624!

We’ll be at the Texas Library Association’s Annual Conference in Dallas from April 3rd to the 6th. Say hello to US Sales and Marketing Associate Director Hannah Moushabeck and get an extra special, limited edition Professor Astro Cat poster, in anticipation of Professor Astro Cat’s Human Body Odyssey, which is available beginning May 1!

Swing by the booth to get a first look at our fresh-off-the-press Spring advances.


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Easter Events Calendar

Nobrow & Flying Eye Books – Easter Events

This Easter holiday, we are heading out and about with lots of our authors and illustrators for all sorts of exciting events at some of our favourite bookshops, festivals… and even a castle!

Here’s where we’ll be:

Under-The-Sea

Who: Joe Todd-Stanton

When: Monday 3rd April

Where: Waterstones Piccadilly

Joe Todd-Stanton joins us to celebrate the release of his new book, The Secret of Black Rock. Featuring strong female characters, epic adventure and a friendly island(!) this beautiful story is a must for children and adults alike. Come and enjoy a story reading, sea creatures fact sheets and tropical fish collage as part of our Children’s Easter Festival. This event is free however please email to guarantee your spot. Ideal for ages 4-9.

Little Gardening

Who: Emily Hughes

When: Wednesday 5th April, 13:00 -14:00

Where: Waterstones Piccadilly

Spring has sprung with The Little Gardener! Author and illustrator Emily Hughes joins us to celebrate the changing seasons and the release of her beautiful new book. As well as a story reading we will be decorating our own plant pots and planting our own sunflower in this fun and educational activity session, part of our Children’s Easter Festival. Perfect for ages 3-7.

Mr Tweed’s Treasure Hunt

Who: Jim Stoten

When: Thursday 6th April

Where: Waterstones Piccadilly

Join author and illustrator Jim Stoten to celebrate Mr Tweed’s Busy Day. This search-and-find adventure story is packed with riddles that we need you to help us solve. Tasks will be placed around the children’s section and will include both paper and 3D searches – with Easter themed prizes! This is event forms part of our Children’s Easter Festival. This event is free however please email to guarantee your spot. Perfect for ages 5-9.

Bunnies Galore

Who: Pippa Goodhart

When: Tuesday 11th April, 13:00 -14:00

Where: Waterstones Piccadilly

Rabbits, bunnies, hoppity hops, call them what you like but we LOVE bunnies! This Easter join author Pippa Goodhart for a range of rabbity stories, songs and games to celebrate her new book My Very Own Space as part of our Children’s Easter Festival. This event is free however please email to guarantee your space. Perfect for ages up to 6.

Leporello Making Workshop

Who: Tom Clohosy Cole

When: 12th April, 11-12 and 2-3pm

Where: Libreria Bookshop, 65 Hanbury Street

Join us at Libreria for an interstellar drawing workshop with illustrator Tom Clohosy Cole. Based upon his beautiful leporello ‘Space Race’, participants will be invited to draw planets, rockets and all else that might be found amongst the stars, creating their very own concertina book to take home. Suitable for ages 5+

Get Smart About Sharks 

Who: Owen Davey

When: 21st April 2017, 13:00 to 16:00

Where: IKON Gallery

Help illustrator Owen Davey transform the Events Room into an underwater seascape inspired by his book, Smart about Sharks. Learn about different types of marine creatures and create your own using a range of materials.

 

Foyles x ELCAF – Draw Big

Who: Katie Harnett

When: Saturday 22nd April, 11:00 – 12:00

Where: Foyles Chelmsford

Foyles x ELCAF is a new collaboration which sees the UK’s largest independent bookshop teaming up with the East London Comic & Arts Festival to celebrate some of the best creative talent in the UK. This year, we open our doors in Chelmsford, London, Birmingham and Bristol to host a series of workshops, talks and one-to-one meetings with illustrators, comic artists and experts in the field. Curated by ELCAF, this eclectic programme aims to celebrate the dynamic work of artists that are making waves in the UK’s independent comic, narrative art and illustration scene. This is the first in the series and is a children’s event focussing on the art of drawing big.

Artist and illustrator, Katie Harnett will be leading a hands-on workshop for budding artists. Katie specialises in children’s books and has worked on both picture books and book covers.  Join in the fun of creating a large scale collaborative drawing and learn all about how to ‘draw big’. This event is suitable for children aged 5-10 years.


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Loris Lora on Painting Safe & Sound

To mark the release of Safe & Sound, we asked Loris Lora to share, and talk us through, some of the beautiful images she hand-painted for the book.

“Here’s a work in progress of the cover. This is actually the second version and i’m glad that we reworked it as it ended up having much more of the animals in which made it much more active.”

‘This was the first illustration I worked on for the book. I wanted to create an underwater scene that is largely influenced by vintage children’s book illustrations and created a transparent effect using gouache paint. I loved working on the mother crocodile and the way her body curved in the illustration.”

“I think these two next to one another in the spread work really well. I really like the balance between a spot illustration and a full page illustration. Painting fur on the wolves and anteaters was fun to work on. I love being able to “drybrush” fur.”

“With the monkeys I wanted them to have an active composition. I like that I was able to paint them as they swing through the page surrounded by different hues of green.”

“The bears are probably one of my favorites in Safe & Sound. But I may be bias as my nickname growing up by parents was “Osito” which means Little Bear in spanish. I was really happy with the composition on this one and loved painting the sleeping cubs.”

“A big challenge on these the baby blue birds was making them look fun and cute. I knew I wanted to have a group of them and loved the ideas of using different kinds of blue. My favourite is the one peeking out.”

“I’m really happy with the the composition worked out. I thought it would be different to have the mother lions back towards the viewer and have her baby cub peeking through.”

“Loved working on the rhinos. This was a great opportunity for me to work on textures on both the rhinos and abstract grasslands, which later influenced the endpages for the book.”

“Knowing this would be one of the last animals listed in the book. I wanted to create an image that had a big impact on the spread. Painting a BIG baby blue whale was so much fun. And having part of the mother in the background to show scale was a nice addition.”

A huge thank you to Loris Lora for sharing these pictures and insight into her incredible process. You can now order finished copies of Safe & Sound, containing all these beautiful images and so many more here and from all the very best (UK) bookshops!


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Check Out Our Spring 2017 Catalogues!
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It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for… the Nobrow and Flying Eye spring 2017 catalogues have arrived! We’ve been working hard with many talented authors, poets and, of course, illustrators and we can finally reveal two of our most exciting lists to date.

From Robert Hunter’s surreal and bewitching love story (Map of Days) to Hamish Steele’s anarchic comic take on ancient Egyptian myths (Pantheon), the Nobrow list is sure to have something for everyone!

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With Flying Eye Books, we’ve created books that encourage compassion, bravery, and a greater understanding of the natural world around us; whether it’s following a daring sea adventure (The Secret of Black Rock) or perusing pages of natural wonder (Wild Animals of the South).

We can’t wait for you to see all these books next spring, but in the meantime we’d love to know which ones you are most looking forward to reading and why. You can let us know via our social media channels!

 See you on the flip side, bring on 2017!


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Storytime with Keith Negley at Powell’s!
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Portland, OR–
Gather round, everyone!  Powell’s City of Books is hosting a special Kids’ Storytime with the one and only Keith Negley!

This Saturday, Keith will be reading from his latest picture book: the stirring, funny, and sweet My Dad Used to Be so Cool.  Follow along with Keith as he tells you about a tattooed dad with a rock star past, and find out the heart-warming reason behind why he decided to give it all up.

Afterwards, be sure to stick around for your chance to get your book signed by Keith!

Kids’ Storytime with Keith Negley
Saturday, July 16 @ 11:00 AM
Powell’s City of Books
1005 W Burnside St.
Portland, OR 97209


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An Adventure in Orlando with William Grill!
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Orlando, FL –
At the end of last month the ALA Annual and the ABA Children’s Institute welcomed the award-winning artist William Grill for a week of panels, signings, and fun at their annual shows!  William sent over some pics of the cool things he was up to during his visit to Orlando and we thought you might want to take a look:

wgALA1Here’s William hard at work at one of his signings, carefully drawing in a copy of his newest book The Wolves of Currumpaw.  The lines to get to William’s table were pretty long, but he made sure to say hi to everyone and send them off with a quick sketch.

wgALA6One of the perks of being a renowned author and illustrator is meeting all of the dedicated readers from around the world.  Here’s William spending time with a young lady excited about her growing collection of William’s work.

wgALA7And here he is sitting with Bobby Byrd, one of the publishers behind Cinco Puntos Press and a big fan of William’s work!

wgALA3But it wasn’t all panels and meet-and-greets.  Here he is up to a bit of mischief outside of the WonderWorks Museum of Orlando, which we’ve just learned has Laser Tag.  If only we’d known sooner!

wgALA4William got into a bit of trouble on this mini golf course, but fortunately for him, he’s as skilled in the art of negotiation and charm as he is with a coloured pencil.

wgALA5Adventure can be found anywhere!  At least that what William was shouting before he found himself trapped in this backhoe.

All in all, it was a very fun and very busy week for us at ALA and the Children’s Institute!  We were so lucky to meet so many brilliant authors and fans at these wonderful shows!

Thanks so much to ALA and the Children’s Institute, as well as the beautiful city of Orlando for having us!
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Here’s a message from William:

Stepping out of the airport I was instantly greeted by the warm Orlando air, reminding me that it was Summer, something that I’d forgotten about back in London. Like the weather, the librarians, booksellers, and illustrators I came across all greeted me with the same warmth and enthusiasm.

It was a pleasure to chat to people from all over the country that had come together to get excited about new books. As an illustrator you rarely get to meet the people who actually help promote your work through shops and libraries, without them we’d be stuffed!

Having made a book that is rooted in American culture I’m glad I could make a connection with people of the same background, especially those that live near New Mexico and have heard of the story.

The most memorable part of the trip was discussing how to make books more appealing for reluctant readers with illustrators as well as librarians. This is what really drives me to keep making books and seeing what you can do with the format. It’s encouraging that the US is conscious of this, and it’s something I hope to continue being a part of.

Lastly, it might look fun to pretend you’re being scooped up by an excavator bucket but those things are ridiculously dirty, be warned.


For more on The Wolves of Currumpaw, be sure to check out our webshop!
Also, don’t forget to check out The Wall Street Journal’s review and Publishers Weekly’s interview with William!