As part of our World Book Day celebrations, two special guests visited our Infants and Juniors to help give them a new perspective on how books are created.
Illustrator Adam Larkum
During a special morning assembly, the children had a marvellous opportunity to learn from Adam Larkum, illustrator of many books including One Hundred Steps: The Story of Captain Sir Tom, One Hundred Reasons, The Plesiosaur’s Neck, A Short History of the World, and The Story of Chocolate. Mr Larkum shared lots of engaging stories about the joys and challenges of illustrating books—including the lengthy process of creating a prehistoric creature with anatomical accuracy, and the perils of drinking too much hot chocolate while illustrating a book about chocolate! He described his process of beginning a drawing very loosely, using rough scribbles to get the angle of things just right, and then rubbing the scribbles out when he is putting in the final details. He then demonstrated the stages of this process with one of his recent illustrations, a tricky scene of a man cutting grass on a wall using a lawnmower. Mr Larkum described to the children how he loves to draw all the time; and provided encouragement to aspiring illustrators by affirming that the more you draw, the more natural it becomes. A big thanks to Mr Larkum for an inspiring peek into the world of illustrating.
Author Alison Miles
Alison Miles is the author and illustrator of the Snippy the Crab books, the tales of an adventurous little crab whose escapades are detailed in a series of longer-length, rhyming picture stories. On World Book Day, Ms Miles visited the Year 3 and 4 classrooms to read from some of her books and answer many questions from the curious pupils, who wanted to know all about her books and illustrations, and the sea creatures she writes about. Ms Miles, who began writing her books years ago but only began to pursue her new career in earnest during lockdown, explained to the children that she has always loved poetry and was determined to write her books in rhyme.
However, she discovered how challenging it is to get rhyming books like hers published in today’s global market, because of the difficulty in making them accessible in other languages. Undeterred, she decided to publish the books herself, and created her own illustrations—for which she was selected as a Bologna Children’s Book Fair artist 2021—using an iPad! Today, she is working on her seventh book and the series is being listed by Manchester Poetry Library. The children thoroughly enjoyed learning all about her adventures as well as Snippy’s. To find out more about Ms Miles and Snippy, go to alisonjmiles.co.uk.