Child’s play: send us your pictures

Whether you’re looking for something for your locked-down children to get stuck into, or you fancy it yourself, here’s a collection of stories by my friend and poetry collaborator, Andy Blackford. It’s more than unlikely that this could end up as an actual book. We think it will stay as a webpage story. But what we’re inviting is book covers, title pages or moments from a story. Whatever catches your imagination.

You or your children, or your grandchildren, or friends’ children don’t have to be artists…just be inspired by ones like Brian Wildsmith, and all the others I talked about two posts ago. In any case, children draw and paint what they truly see when they hear or read a story.

To kick it off I asked one illustrator, Kate Rolfe, to inspire you with two of hers. You can see what she came up with:

https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/johnfogginpoetry.com/15711

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If you want to be involved and want more detail, (especially about the resolution we need for the images) contact me at john.foggin.outlook.com and I’ll get back to you pretty well straight away. I’ll be accepting your illustrations until the end of August, and posting them as they come in. After the deadline, Andy Blackford will choose the ones he likes best, and they’ll then form part of the story text. Basically, we’ll be choosing the best overall book cover, a title page for each story and up to three images in the body of each story.

How about it? Lostriches, Hummingbirds, Magpies, Cuckoos, Woodpeckers, Swans, Penguins. Any medium. There’s talent and imagination out there.

ROCKY the WOODPECKER

Rocky was a baby Woodpecker. He lived in a nest in a tree in a forest with his mum and dad and his three brothers. 

One day, a great wind shook the trees and Rocky fell out of the nest.

Before long, he was hungry. He was too little to catch flies to eat. But he could peck through milk bottle tops. Every morning, he hopped around the town, and drank the milk on people’s doorsteps.

The people didn’t like it, of course.  But they forgave him because he was only a baby. 

All that milk made Rocky grow big and strong.  And all that pecking gave him a very tough beak.

Soon, he became the loudest Woodpecker in the forest.

But he soon grew tired of pecking wood. “Wood is far too easy to peck,” he thought. “I think I’ll be a Brickpecker instead.” 

So he went to the town and pecked holes in the houses. 

The townspeople were very cross. They went to the Mayor and complained. So the Mayor had a quiet word with Rocky.

But Rocky just laughed. “ Don’t worry. Bricks are far too easy to peck.  From now on, I’m going to be a Stonepecker!”

On Sunday, the townspeople went to church. But the church was gone. Rocky had pecked it all away.

The people went to the Mayor again. “You must lock that Woodpecker up,” they cried, “or he’ll peck the whole town to bits!”

But the Mayor was a wise and kindly old man. He went to visit Rocky in his nest in a tree in the forest. “Rocky,” he said, “why don’t you peck us some nice, stone statues? They will make the Park look nice. Then perhaps the townspeople will like you again.”

Before long, the Park was full of stone animals and stone mayors and huge, stone woodpeckers.

The Mayor invited everyone to a party. When Rocky arrived, they sang “For He’s A Jolly Good Woodpecker!” 

But from the corner of his eye, Rocky could see the bridge over the river. “Hmm,” he thought. “Stone is far too easy to peck. 

“I think I’ll be a Steelpecker!”

SHIRLEY THE SWAN

Shirley’s very first memory was of two big white question marks, reflected in the river. They were the long, curvy swans’ necks that belonged to her Mum and Dad.

Of course, little Shirley didn’t know what a question was. But then she asked one: ‘What’s a swan, Mum?’
‘Why, you are, dear!’ her Mum said.
‘We are!’ said her two brothers and two sisters.
Shirley was looking at a family of ducks who were paddling past.

She asked her second-ever question. ‘Are they swans?’
‘Certainly not!’ said her Mum. ‘We don’t mix with their sort. They’re ducks.’
The ducks gave Shirley a cheery wave. Shirley waved back.
‘Shirley!’ snapped her Mum. ‘Just ignore them!’

And Shirley asked her third-ever question. ‘Why?’
‘Well, because…because…’
Shirley’s Dad said, ‘Because they’re small and mud-coloured, not graceful and gorgeous like us. Also, they quack.’
‘That’s right!’ said Mum. So do as we say and leave them be. All five of you.’
‘Four,’ corrected Shirley’s Dad.
Shirley’s Mum looked around and counted the cygnets. ‘One…two…three…four…five. Five!’
Shirley’s Dad frowned. ‘Hmm. I could have sworn there were only four. Oh well, dear, you know best.’

*****

The Spring turned into Summer and the little cygnets were growing up fast – at least her sisters Lily and Iris, and her brothers Bulrush and Skunk-Cabbage were. But Shirley was falling behind. Before long, she was quite a lot smaller than the rest. 

Her Mum and Dad were worried about her, and gave her more food than the others. But it didn’t seem to make any difference – except that her brothers and sisters were cross with her because she got more to eat than they did.

Also, she was finding it harder to keep up with the rest of the family as they swam up and down the river. She would paddle away with her short legs and her little webbed feet, while her brothers and sisters seemed to glide along smoothly with hardly any effort.
‘Get a move on, Duck Face!’ shouted Bulrush. 
Shirley was hurt. ‘Why did you call me Duck Face?’ 
Bulrush replied, ‘Well now. Let me think… Could it possibly be because you’ve got a face like a duck?’

Shirley looked at her reflection in the water. Was it true? Did her mouth look rather flat and wide – perhaps a bit more like a duck’s bill than a swan’s pointy beak? 
Every day, they’d pass the duck family, who would smile at her and quack in the most friendly way. If her Mum and Dad weren’t looking, she’d give them a shy little wave in return. 

Then one day, she just couldn’t keep up. 

The swans vanished around a bend in the river and she was left far behind, exhausted and out of breath. She tried to call out but instead of a swan’s cry, all that came out was a sort of squawking noise, like something made of iron that needed oiling.

By the time she got her breath back, the Swan family were nowhere to be seen and she began to panic. The sun was going down, she was cold and she started to cry. 

But suddenly, an otter’s head popped out of the water – quickly followed by the rest of an otter. You don’t often see otters, but otters wearing spectacles are very rare indeed. ‘Hello!’ he smiled. ‘Lost?’
‘I couldn’t keep up with my family,’ she said, ‘and now they’ve left me behind.’
‘Hop on my back,’ said the otter, ‘and we’ll have you back with your folks in no time!’

As they sped through the water, the otter said, ‘I always try to help lost ducklings.’
‘Ducklings?’ squawked Shirley. ‘But I’m a swan!’
The Otter disagreed. ‘I’ve seen a lot of swans in my time, and even more ducks. I think it’s pretty safe to say that you’re a duck. 

‘You see, it’s a bit of a thing with me. Back in the Spring, I picked up a lost duckling and delivered it to a family of swans by mistake. The ducks never forgave me. That’s why I wear glasses nowadays – so I can tell the difference.’

‘No, you don’t understand! I really am a swan!’
‘Well, if so, you’re going to have a hard time of it. Your beak’s all wrong – your feathers are a funny colour – you’ve got a quacky voice and I don’t mean to be rude but you’re a midget.’
‘That is quite rude,’ Shirley said.
‘Do the other swans call you names?’
‘Sometimes,’ Shirley admitted, ‘they call me Duck Face. And Mucky. And Donald. And Daffy. And Crispy. And Quackers. And…’
‘Yes, yes, I get the picture,’ the otter interrupted. ‘And it’ll only get worse, trust me.’

Then around a bend in the river came the family of ducks that always waved at Shirley. The otter swam towards them. ‘Mother Duck!’ he called. 
‘What is it?’ she snapped. ‘You’re that otter what lost our Tracy!’
‘True,’ said the Otter, ‘and I’m very sorry. But I think I’ve found her again!’ And he pushed the little duckling towards her. 

Mother Duck stared at Shirley than suddenly threw her wings around her. ‘Derek!’ she screeched to her husband. ‘It’s our Tracy! She’s come ‘ome!’

And that’s about the end of our story. Tracy (for that was her proper name) felt much happier with her real family. 
And Mrs Swan had to admit that she might have been wrong about how many children they really had. ‘Eggs all look the same,’ she explained. ‘It’s hard to remember exactly how many there are.’

‘Yes,’ replied her husband. ‘Of course, dear.’

THE BEST NEST CONTEST

It was Spring and time for the big Nest Competition. The Blackbird had to visit every tree in the forest.

The birds worked hard to make sure their nests were clean and tidy.

The Robin’s nest was on the ground, round and neat and lined with soft, green moss.

The Swallow’s nest was as hard as wood, with a little hole for a doorway. The little Wren’s nest was tiny and pretty, just like the Wren.

The Greenfinch made her nest in a little house in a tree in someone’s garden.

Even the Dove tried hard to make a safe, warm home for her family.

But when the Blackbird flew to the tree where the Cuckoo lived, she couldn’t believe her eyes. What a mess!

The Cuckoo was still trying to build her nest. But she wasn’t doing very well.

First, she tried to make the nest with grass – but it just fell to bits. Then she tried sticks, but they wouldn’t stick together.

Then she tried string. Then she tried mud. She even tried cake. 

‘Rubbish!’ cried the Starling.

’That’s a good idea!’ said the Cuckoo. But it wasn’t.

She tried baking foil. And fur. She even tried toothpaste. But nothing seemed to work.

The Blackbird shook her head. ‘My dear Mrs Cuckoo, why don’t you come and stay with us instead?’ 

And so the Cuckoo laid her eggs in the Blackbirds’ beautiful nest. She had never been so happy in her life.

THE END.

Childs’ play: Two more stories

In case you missed the last post: we’re looking for illustrators of any age. Whether you’re looking for something for your locked-down children to get stuck into, or you fancy it yourself, here’s a collection of stories by my friend and poetry collaborator, Andy Blackford. It’s more than unlikely that this could end up as and actual book. We think it will stay as a webpage story. But what we’re inviting is book covers, title pages or moments from a story. Whatever catches your imagination. To kick it off I asked one illustrator, Kate Rolfe, to inspire you with two of hers. If you want to be involved and want more detail, (especially about the resolution I’ll need for the images) contact me at john.foggin.outlook.com and I’ll get back to you pretty well straight away. I’ll be accepting your illustrations until the end of August, and posting them as they come in. After the deadline, Andy Blackford will choose the ones he likes best, and they’ll then form part of the story text. Basically, we’ll be choosing the best overall book cover, a title page for each story and up to three images in the body of each story.

THE MAGPIE KING 

Magpies can’t resist shiny stuff.  Silver paper, 5p coins, the Crown Jewels. 

When Malcolm the Magpie collected heaps of silver paper and 5p coins, nobody minded much.

But then, one day, he came home with the Crown Jewels.

His wife, Maureen, said, “Those belong to the King!  When he notices they’ve gone, he’ll be cross.”

But Malcolm just winked. “He won’t know it was me!”

Next day, the King knocked on the Magpies’ tree.  “I see you’ve got the Crown Jewels up there.” 

“What?” called Malcolm. “These old things?”

“Don’t worry”, replied the King.  “It’s just that whoever has the Jewels is the King.  So, er, well done!” 

“Me?  KING?” squawked Malcolm. “Brilliant!” 

The ex-King flew off to Barbados. “This is more like it!” he said, as he lay on the beach in the sun. 

Back home, King Malcolm made lots of new rules.

Everyone had to live in trees…

….and sleep in nests…

…and eat worms. 

 By and large, the People didn’t like it. 

So one morning, when Malcolm was still asleep, Maureen wrapped up the Crown Jewels in a handkerchief. Then she set off for Barbados.

The ex-King was fed up, too.  Nobody called him Sir anymore. 

Also, it was very hot. He tried to buy an ice cream. But he forgot that Malcolm had all his jewels, and he couldn’t pay. The man made him give the ice cream back. 

Maureen flew across the sea for three days and three nights. The jewels were very heavy. ‘I wish the King collected something a bit lighter,’ she thought. ‘Like stamps. Or feathers.’

At last she saw an island ahead. It was Barbados.

The King was sitting on the beach. He was hot and grumpy. But when his jewels landed plonk! on his beach towel, he was happy again. “Holidays are no fun,” he said, “if they never end.”

Next day, the King knocked at the Magpies’ tree. “I’ve got my jewels back!” he called.  “So you’re just an ordinary magpie again.  Sorry!”

The People cheered. “We’re not sorry! God Save The King!”

“I’m not sorry, either,” Malcolm whispered to Maureen.

“Nor me,” said Maureen.  “I think we’ll stick to silver paper in future.”

ROYSTON WINS HIS WINGS

When Royston the penguin burst out of his egg in Antarctica, there was only one thing on his mind.

He lay on his back in the snow and stared at the gulls, wheeling and soaring high above.‘I was born to fly!’ he told his mum and dad.

‘Don’t be silly,’ said his dad. ‘Penguins forgot how to fly thousands of years ago. Stop wasting your time staring at the sky!’

So Royston went to see the albatross. ‘Show me how to fly!’ he said.The albatross frowned. ‘Your wings are a bit short,’ he replied. ‘Are you sure this is a good idea?’

‘I’m sure,’ Royston insisted. ‘Ok, watch me!’ said the albatross. And he ran across the ice, faster and faster, beating his wings. Then he rose slowly into the air.

 ‘Brilliant!’ squawked Royston. But when he tried it, he just ran and ran ‘til his legs got tired and then he fell over.

For days, he tried to fly. He even collected feathers and stuck them to his wings to make them longer. But nothing worked. 

In the end he sat down and cried. The albatross felt sorry for him. ‘Why don’t you hop on my back and I’ll take you for a ride.’P 

The albatross dived and climbed and swooped and wheeled and soared. Royston was so scared, he just closed his eyes and hung on. ‘This is horrible!’ he whispered to himself.  ‘I’ll never try to fly again!’

Then the albatross turned quickly and Royston slipped off his back. He tumbled head over heels through the air. ‘Oh no!’ cried his mother, far, far below.

Then he splashed into the sea and sank down, deeper and deeper. ‘I’m going to drown!’ he thought. But then he flapped his little wings and suddenly he was shooting up again.

He dived and climbed and swooped and wheeled and soared.‘I’m flying UNDERWATER!’ he cried. (But only bubbles came out).

When he bobbed up on the surface again, the albatross smiled. ‘Even I couldn’t do that!’ he said. All the penguins were cheering. ‘Well done, son!’ cried his dad.

(Stories Copyright Andy Blackford 2020)

Two more tomorrow. Tell your chums.

Child’s play

Child’s play. A challenge for artists of all ages

I have friends in the world of poetry who will tell me that they ‘don’t like poems about pictures’. Sometimes I’m not sure what they mean. Does that include Auden’s Musée des beaux arts or UA Fanthorpe’s Woman ironing ? Probably not. In another life I sometimes dream I could have been a painter rather than a writer of poems. I love visual imagery, and all its complex apparent immediacy.

Which is why I’m going to take a bit of time out from writing about poetry, why I’ll share my abiding enthusiasm for picture story books, and then invite you to contribute to one.

For about ten years of my 40 in the teaching business, I was in teacher training, teaching would-be primary teachers how to teach literacy. Which self-evidently includes helping young children to see how books ‘work’. The bit I always liked best was the business of exploring how we can learn to read the subtexts of pictures, of illustrations, and the ways in which the very best don’t literally mimic the text (which is invariably the case in Enid Blyton books, and, indeed, in so many reading scheme books) but enhance it, comment on it, respond to it, and sometimes tell a slightly different story from the words.

Here’s what I mean. One of my absolute favourites of the last 30 years is I’ll take you Mrs Cole. It’s the story of a parental threat. Every child understands the dark and generally non-specific threat a desperate parent will make when the child is naughty. Let’s have a look at the first three images. The first two might be ignored by a reader because the first page proper is page three. (Ask yourself why an artist would go to the trouble of illustrating an end paper and a title page). Here we go

The first is the inside cover. 4.00pm. Kids coming out of school into a foggy evening. It’s cold (how do I know that?) Two of them seem to be a lot happier than the the one in the red top. Why?

The second is the title page. It’s 4.15pm. And he’s running. Why? How many stairs does he have to run up?

Finally, the third…and the first page of the story. It’s 4.30pm. We know he’s had 15 minutes to turn the living room into a fantasy. But we only see what his mum sees. She can only see a mess. She can’t see his face. But I think I can. Michael Foreman has done something remarkable with those eyeholes, simply by tilting them inwards. And here come the threat. I’ll take you to Mrs Cole. Which will escalate as the tale progresses. Wonderful.

Viewpoint’s important. At a crucial point in the story we start to see events as the child sees them…and so on.

OK. here’s another favourite. Jan Ormerod’s retelling of Chicken Licken. Anyone whose only experience of the story with their children is the dire Ladybird version will likely roll their eyes. But this is what a great illustrator can do to enrich a simple, repetitive tale.

Basically there are multiple narratives, and they each have their own subtext and backstory. 

First of all it’s the story of the performance of a primary school play .

Then there’s the traditional story which is retold in speech bubbles. The narrative’s told by a Narrator, in his top hat (my guess is that he’s the best reader and best behaved boy in Year 6) and the dialogue is performed by various characters. I like the costumes.

Then, of course, there’s the story of the audience. The parents, in silhouette. And one child.

Finally, there’s the tale of the baby in the moses basket who has just woken up and started to take an interest.

Each of these narratives is visually separated, and part of the fun is to find out how they might start to interact.

Happy so far? Here’s another one that deals in simultaneous parallel narratives. Dear Daddy by Philippe Dupasquier. 

    

Dad’s on a oiltanker, and once a month he sends a postcard (and, I think, a letter) to his daughter who writes back to him. Which means we get a calendar of changing seasons. Ask yourself why the artist took such pains over a bashed up car being towed away, and why it’s apparently of no interest to the child. What does dad write? What are mum and the neighbour talking about?

What about the artist and the characters in a story. Sometimes an illustrator’s imagined hero/heroine is, for me, the only imaginable one. Tenniel’s Alice, for instance. Or E H Shephard’s Mole from Wind in the Willows

Lots have tried but they always fall short of what seems like authenticity.  But for the purpose of this post, I’ll concentrate on the fact that illustrations can be expressive and apparently simple. Take the image of Mole, lost in the Wild Wood. It’s a heartbreaker. It works because he’s alone (that’s what the white space around him says) and very small. The trees are huge, and we are quite high up, looking down. Artful stuff. And it doesn’t have to be as obviously art-trained as Shepard’s. Quentin Blake does a really good job of pretending he isn’t

And also of showing transformation in time, like a medieval muralist. 

Some best-loved characters have been been made ‘simply’. David McKee’s Elmer, and the two monsters; the wonderful John Burningham’s Borka (the goose with no feathers…his take on the Ugly Duckling).

Before I get on to the real point of the post, just a word about book covers. They can kill a book stone dead, if you’re not careful. In the case of Mrs Cole, the original cover showed the hero looking dismayed at a mucky breakfast table as his mum sets off for work. A later one gave the whole game away by using a picture of a red-faced jolly Mrs Cole. Whose idea was that? Someone with no idea about how stories work, I guess.

Here are two I like a lot. I like the way Rosemary Wells suggests that Norah is the younger/youngest, her sister is ‘sensible’, her dad can only cope with one child at a time, and Norah is going to seek attention (by which we mean love) one way or another. The artist takes one moment from the story to make it stand for the story’s meaning. And will Norah find love….you need to read to find out. Harry’s Bee is also illustrated by the author. I like this one because while it’s not a scene from the story it’s clear that Harry’s Bee is out of the ordinary, that people stop in the street to point him out to each other. What’s the deal with this bee?  You need to read to find out.

And now we get to the point. I’m looking for illustrators of any age. Whether you’re looking for something for your locked-down children to get stuck into, or you fancy it yourself, here’s a collection of stories by my friend and poetry collaborator, Andy Blackford. It’s more than unlikely that this could end up as and actual book. We think it will stay as a webpage story. But what we’re inviting is book covers, title pages or moments from a story. Whatever catches your imagination. To kick it off I asked one illustrator, Kate Rolfe, to inspire you with two of hers. If you want to be involved and want more detail, (especially about the resolution I’ll need for the images) contact me at john.foggin.outlook.com and I’ll get back to you pretty well straight away. I’ll be accepting your illustrations until the end of August, and posting them as they come in. After the deadline, Andy Blackford will choose the ones he likes best, and they’ll then form part of the story text. Basically, we’ll be choosing the best overall book cover, a title page for each story and up to three images in the body of each story. So here we go with the first two stories, and I’ll post the rest two at a time so the post doesn’t get ridiculously unwieldy

Absurd Birds. 

by Andy Blackford, with illustrations by Kate Rolfe

(and others to be decided)

Contents

  • The Lostrich
  • The Humming Bird
  • The Magpie King
  • Royston wins his Wings
  • Rocky the Woodpecker
  • Shirley the Swan
  • The Best Nest Contest

THE LOSTRICH

Once upon a time, the Ostrich could fly.

But only just. 

One day, he took off from his home in Africa.

There was a great storm.  It blew the stars away and the moon got stuck in a tree.

The Ostrich was blown across the sea and half way around the world.

When the sun came up, the Ostrich was a Lostrich.  He had no idea where he was. He only knew it wasn’t home. The City was big and cold and dirty. There were no trees and no birds. 

He was chased by a huge yellow monster with sharp black teeth teeth. 

He was so scared, he busied his head in the sand.  It popped up in the middle of a desert. It was nicer than the big city. There were a few trees and a big animal with humps on its back. But it wasn’t home. 

So he pulled his head out of the sand and flew away. Soon he had left the City far behind him. Down below, he saw a huge green lawn with sand pits on it. He said to himself,  ‘This is more like it!’ 

So he landed on the lawn. He was just about to eat the lush, green grass when something small and hard and white nearly hit him on the head.  He was so scared, he buried his head in the sand. It popped up in the middle of a jungle. It was better than the desert. There were lots of trees and animals and birds. But it still wasn’t home.

So he pulled his head out of the sand and flew away as fast as he could. Down below, he could see the seaside. He landed on the beach. The children shouted at him and chased him. 

He was so scared, he buried his head in the sand. This time, it popped up in his favourite place in the whole world… home! 

With a loud squawk of joy, he wriggled through the hole in the sand. All his friends made a big fuss of him.

He said to himself, 

‘I’m not a Lostrich anymore! I’m an Ostrich, and that’s the way I’m going to stay. 

‘I shall never fly again.’

And he didn’t.

THE HUMMING BIRD

The people on The Island were choosing a bird to put on their stamps.

All the birds gathered in the jungle. They argued about who was the most beautiful. 

 One tiny bird sat on a branch and didn’t say anything.

‘They certainly won’t choose you!’ the rest of them told her. ‘You’re far too small. You’re not even a proper bird. You’re just a bug!’

And they all pointed at her and laughed until she flew away.

At first, the little bird was upset. But then she thought, ‘Right! If they think I’m a bug, then a bug is just what I’ll be!’

First she went to see the butterfly. ‘Please can you make me bright and beautiful like you?’ 

The butterfly painted her until she shone like a rainbow.

Next she went to see the spider. ‘Please can you show me how to make a nest like yours?’

And the spider showed her how to use spiders’ webs and moss to make a perfect little home.

Then she went to visit the bumble bee. ‘I’m fed up with eating worms,’ she said. ‘Please can you teach me how to drink from the flowers?’

And the bee showed her how to suck nectar from the flowers.

While she hovered by the flowers, her tiny wings made a humming noise, just like an insect. ‘From now on,’ she said, ‘this sound will be my song!’

The day came when the people had to make up their mind which bird to put on their stamps.

The birds all lined up while the people looked at each one in turn.There were tall birds, short birds, fat and thin birds, brown birds, yellow birds – even pink bird.    

Right at the end of the line hovered the smallest bird of all.

Straight away, the people fell in love with her. ‘She’s so pretty!’ they cried. ‘And just listen! She’s a humming bird!’

And from that day on, the humming bird’s picture has appeared on all the island’s stamps. 

[Copyright. Andy Blackford 2020]

About

Andy Blackford. has been a rock guitarist, a professional skateboarder, an extreme marathon runner, a biographer, and a diving instructor. He was a partner in a major advertising agency (creating the UmBongo advert, amongst other things. They drink it in the Congo) and has written at least twenty books for children, including titles in the Oxford reading Tree scheme. He co-authored a poetry collection with me. Gap Year [SPM Publications 2017] as the result of a yearlong collaboration after we met up again after a break of about 40 years.

Kate Rolfe Kate Rolfe is an illustrator based in Suffolk, UK. She is currently studying an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art, and has previously worked in graphics and textile design. You can find many of her latest creations at stripykite.etsy.com. Kate has a lifelong love for storytelling in all its forms, and is particularly passionate about picture books! See more of Kate’s work at katerolfe.com, and follow her at Instagram.com/katerolfeartand twitter.com/katerolfeart

The books: Publishing details. Some are a bit problematic, since they’ve been published by different houses over the years. Some are out of print, though available from Abe Books. And so on.

I’ll take you to Mrs Cole: Nigel Gray and Michael Foreman

(Picturemac. First publ. 1985)

Borka. : John Burningham. (Jonathan Cape. 1963)

Noisy Nora: Rosemary Wells v (Puffin . 2000)

Dear Daddy: Philippe Dupasquier (Anderson Press 2002)

The true story of Chicken Licken: Jan Ormerod

(Scholastic 1986)

Elmer the patchwork elephant : David McKee

(Anderson Press 1989)

Two monsters : David McKee (Anderson Press 2009)

The Twits: Roald Dahl (Jonathan Cape. 1980)

ps. During August I’ll also be writing about poetry, and poets, including Ian Parks, Jane Burn, Martin Zarrop, Steve Ely and Jenny Hockey.