Monday, 19 August 2019

You say 'tomato', I say 'tomato'- the process of adapting and translating a UK picture book text for the US market.

I recently tweeted that mine and Paula Metcalf's picture book 'Have You Seen My Blankie?' (published by Nosy Crow) is coming out in the US and Canada. I commented how interesting I'd found the process of working with US editors to adapt the text for their market.  A few people replied to my tweet that they'd be interested in hearing a bit about that process.... and so... a new blog post is born!

I am lucky enough to have had my stories translated into over 20 different languages now, which feels very special and a real honour! The photo below shows a small selection of those books.
I've found, for the most part, that I've not been particularly involved in (or asked about) the translation process. (Not that I would have very much to add when it came to Lithuanian or Finnish versions of my stories!)

But when it comes to the American English editions, I always find it interesting.
Sometimes I get asked to change only a line or two.
Sometimes the US English edition is exactly the same as the British English version.
Sometimes, when the book is sent to me, I notice a few small changes have been made, which I wasn't necessarily informed of, and which I always find interesting to spot!

In the British English version of Sammy Claws the Christmas cat, Santa is left treats of mince pies.
'That night, Santa worked just as hard as could be, but still found some time for a mince pie...or three!)

 However, when I read the American English version, both the text and the illustration had been changed to 'cookies'.
'That night Santa worked just as hard as could be but still found some time for a cookie or three.'

I guess Santa doesn't eat mince pies in America or Canada. I never knew!!

However, sometimes, the translation process between British and American English versions requires a bit more back and forth, with the US editors either suggesting changes themselves for the author to OK, or asking for the author to come up with some new text where the British English lines just aren't quite going to work.  This is the way it was with 'Have you Seen My Blankie?'

Below, I've lain out the text verse by verse with both the British and American English versions so that you can see the kind of changes that we made to this story.  Happy reading!

UK text  Have You Seen My Blankie?
US text  Have You Seen My Blankie?  

Once, inside a palace, lived a young princess called Alice,
and Alice had a blankie that she always took to bed.
This blankie was so cuddly! So soft and warm and snuggly!
But one day it went missing! 'Where's my blankie?' Alice said.

Once, inside a palace, lived a young princess named Alice,
and Alice had a blankie that she always took to bed.
This blankie was so cuddly! So soft and warm and snuggly!
But one day it went missing! 'Where's my blankie?' Alice said.

Alice ran across the floor and hurried to the palace door.
She called to Jack, her brother, who was playing in his den.
He said 'Oh, yes, I'm certain that I used it as a curtain,
but that was quite some time ago- a giant took it then.'

Alice ran across the floor and hurried to the palace door.
She called out to her brother, 'Do you have my blankie, Jack?'  
He said 'No but I'm certain that I used it as a curtain,
But then a giant took it and he wouldn't give it back.' 

Alice tracked the giant down. She rang his doorbell with a frown.
Giant Jim said 'Come on in! I've made some lovely pies.'
He said 'I had your blankie and I used it as a hankie,
but then a witch discovered it and flew off through the skies!'

Alice tracked the giant down. She rang his doorbell with a frown.
Giant Jim said 'Come on in! I've made some lovely pies.'
'Yes, I had your blankie and I used it as a hankie,
but then a witch discovered it and flew off through the skies!'

Alice started out once more. She knocked upon the witch's door.
The witch said 'Oh, your blankie? Yes, it made a lovely cloak.
But if I'm not mistaken, dear, my lovely cloak was taken!'
She pointed to the trees, where Princess Alice spied some smoke.

Alice headed out once more and knocked upon the witch's door.
The witch said 'Oh, your blankie? Yes, it made a lovely cloak.
But if I'm not mistaken, it seems that it was taken!'
She pointed to the trees, where Princess Alice spied some smoke.

Alice went exploring and she heard some noisy snoring!
She walked into the forest and was trying to be brave.
But then she saw her blankie and a dragon looking cranky.
'Who disturbs my slumbers?' roared the dragon from his cave.

So Alice went exploring. Soon she heard some noisy snoring!
She walked into the forest and was trying to be brave.
But then she saw her blankie with a dragon who looked cranky 
'Who disturbs my slumbers?' roared the dragon from his cave.

Alice felt a little scared. 'That's my blankie!' she declared.
But suddenly she realised that this dragon wasn't tough!
The dragon sadly bowed his head. 'It's just so very soft' he said.
'Your blankie helps me sleep because my bed is cold and rough.'

Alice felt a little scared. 'That's my blankie!' she declared.
And suddenly she realized that this dragon wasn't tough!
The dragon sadly bowed his head. 'It's just so very soft' he said. 
'Your blankie helps me sleep because my bed is cold and rough.' 

Princess Alice looked quite cross. 'It's time to show him just who's boss!'
But when she reached for Blankie...Oh! The dragon looked so blue.
And Alice thought about it. 'Well, he'll never sleep without it.
I wonder' said the princess 'If there's something I can do?'

Princess Alice felt quite mad. What a tiring day she'd had! 
She tried to take her blankie...but the dragon looked so blue. 
And Alice thought about it. 'Well, he'll never sleep without it.
I wonder' said the princess 'If there's something I can do?' 

Just then she had a good idea. 'Yes, of course! The answer's clear!
We'll find you something snuggly, soft and warm' the princess said.
The dragon whispered 'Oh, yes please!' He gave the blankie one last squeeze
then handed it to Alice as he wriggled from his bed.

Just then she had a good idea. 'Yes, of course! The answer's clear!
We'll find you something snuggly, soft and warm' the princess said.
The dragon whispered 'Oh, yes please!' He gave the blankie one last squeeze 
then handed it to Alice as he got up from his bed. 

Alice and her new-found friend, left the woods and... round the bend..
they came upon the witch's house. They hoped that she could help.
The witch said 'Try my snuggly cat? She's sleeping here inside my hat.'
'But cats are far too scratchy!' said the dragon with a yelp.

Alice and her new-found friend, left the woods and... round the bend..
they came upon the witch's house. They hoped that she could help.
The witch said 'Try my snuggly cat? She's sleeping here inside my hat.'
'But cats are far too scratchy!' said the dragon with a yelp. 

The dragon was now trying to stop himself from crying.
So Alice spoke to Giant Jim who gave it quite some thought.
My feather cushion's soft' he said. 'Perhaps you could try that instead?'
'But feather make me sneezy! said the dragon with a snort.

The dragon was now trying to stop himself from crying.
So Alice spoke to Giant Jim who offered them some pie.
My feather pillow's soft' he said. 'Perhaps you could try that instead?'
'But feather make me sneezy! said the dragon with a sigh.

The dragon's tears were flowing so the princess kept on going.
They flew to find her brother. 'Do you have any ideas?'
'Socks are warm!' young Jack replied. 'I've got an extra pair inside?'
'But socks are far too stinky!' said the dragon through his tears.

The dragon's tears were flowing so the princess kept on going.
They flew to ask her brother Jack if he could help them out. 
'Socks are warm!' Prince Jack replied. 'I've got an extra pair inside?'
'But socks are far too stinky!' said the dragon with a shout.

Princess Alice felt so bad. The dragon looked so very sad.
He sobbed 'I need a blankie or I'll never sleep tonight!'
Alice stroked the dragon's head and then she very gently said
'Don't give up! I promise we'll find something that's just right!'

Princess Alice felt so bad. The dragon looked so very sad.
He sobbed 'I need a blankie or I'll never sleep tonight!'
Alice stroked the dragon's head and then she very gently said 
'Don't give up! I promise we'll find something that's just right!'

The dragon followed Alice and they went inside the palace.
'We need something that's soft' she told him 'warm and snuggly too'
They tried the kitchen and the porch. They checked the attic (with a torch)
Then, in her bedroom, Alice cried 'I've just the thing for you!'

The dragon followed Alice and they went inside the palace.
'We need something that's soft' she told him 'warm and snuggly too'
The attic had a lot of stuff but everything felt hard or rough.
Then, in her bedroom, Alice cried 'I've just the thing for you!' 

With lots of noisy puffing, some heaving and some huffing.
The princess showed the dragon...'Look!...my fluffy teddy bear!'
The dragon, beaming brightly, held on to Teddy tightly
and Alice felt so pleased that she'd found just the thing to share.'

With lots of noisy puffing, some heaving and some huffing.
The princess showed the dragon...'Look!...my fluffy teddy bear!' 
The dragon, beaming brightly, held on to Teddy tightly
and Alice felt so pleased that she'd found just the thing to share.' 

Inside a royal palace, lives a young princess called Alice
but now she has a dragon who will often come to stay.
So anyone who' scheming, beware the dragon dreaming.
He's guarding Ted and Blankie...so you'd better keep away!

Inside a royal palace, lives a young princess named Alice 
And now there is a dragon who will often come to stay.
So anyone who' scheming, beware the dragon dreaming.
He's guarding bear and blankie...so you'd better keep away!

Do you have any examples of other changes that you have noticed when comparing British English vs American English texts?

Monday, 12 August 2019

Zoom Zoom Zoom! by Chitra Soundar


5,
4,
3,
2,
1
ZOOM!

This year’s Summer Reading Challenge is themed on Space Chase. Librarians across the country are counting down the reading of children and awarding them medals for exploring the planet of reading.

Space achievement has always been seen as an achievement of the west. However historical records indicate that Indians and Arabs, have longed practiced astronomy and many of our 3000-old epics and scriptures refer to nine planets and moons (which perhaps today has been changed to eight and I feel for Pluto).



As we celebrate the anniversary of the moon landing, India my birth country has launched a shuttle Chandrayaan 2 to the dark side of the moon (which is a first) and that has come within two years of India launching a rover to Mars (the same time as the US, in a fraction of the cost). What was even more wonderful was that the picture that captured India’s imagination – women scientists in their saris celebrating the launch of the rover, women who have forged paths not just on Earth but into space.


Sriharikota is a small town, a few hours from where I lived captured my imagination when I was young. It was the rocket launch site and the home of ISRO – the Indian Space Research Organisation. Then as a young professional, who mentored students on their internships, I had the honour of visiting the organisation and walked into these halls that echoed the dreams of many.

A P J Abdul Kalam, India’s 11th President was an aerospace scientist who had come from humble beginnings from the same state I belonged. He spent all his life spreading the joy of science and experimentation, and motivating youth to study and aim for the stars. (Read about APJ Abdul Kalam in this new book by Rashmi Sirdeshpande).

This also reminded me of Kalpana Chawla, a hero back in India, a US citizen, who became the first astronaut of Indian ancestry to go into space. Sadly she was on the space shuttle Columbia on her second space journey, which disintegrated on its re-entry into earth’s atmosphere.

But between her first and second missions and even after her death, she continues to inspire many young women and men to become astronauts, especially those who don’t seem to be represented in those professions.

And so when this year my picture book Farmer Falgu Goes KiteFlying was chosen for the Summer Reading Challenge in the year Space Chase was the theme, I got super excited just as Eila is in this book flying kites. Flying a kite is the first step towards aspiring to become an astronaut I think.



Then I asked the question - Are there are enough books about space heroes who are persons of colour and are they written and illustrated by BAME writers about space?

The good news is yes there are. The bad news is as always – not that many, especially not that many written by writers of colour.

Here are the ones I found – please buy them, recommend them and share them with all children – so that it is a dream that can be shared by all. And let's hope there are more books than the fingers on one hand that are written by authors of colour about space and space heroes of colour.



#OwnVoices picture books and non-fiction across UK and US

#Inclusive picture books, biographies and more published across the world


Monday, 5 August 2019

Image Flash-Back- The longevity of favourite childhood illustrations - Garry Parsons


In a recent guest blog post for The Picture Book Den, author Timothy Knapman included an image that he recalled from his childhood. The illustration is by writer and illustrator Tomi Ungerer, whose books for children included “Moon Man,” first published in 1966, and Tim’s favourite “Zeralda’s Ogre,” which was published a year later.

On the last page of "Zeralda's Ogre" we see a picture of the happy family; proud parents Zeralda and her ex-ogre are surrounded by their offspring and Zeralda has a baby in her arms. One of her older children leans over his new-born sibling, apparently adoringly.  But behind his back – visible to us but not to his parents – he holds a knife and fork.

Zeralda’s Ogre by Tomi Ungerer

Tim says, "I don’t know why that image has stayed with me.  I do remember thinking it was funny rather than scary.  I was a ghoulish child, I suppose.  But – more than that – it’s the subversiveness of the image, the feeling that “you’re not supposed to do that!" that was – and remains – truly thrilling." 

Intrigued by the impact this clearly had on the young Tim Knapman, I remembered an illustration from my childhood. Surfacing from my memory, like a ship hauling on deck an unexpected sea monster, was an image of a staggering wolf with his tummy in stitches. 
A quick search online not only brought back the image in all its gruesomeness but also all the feelings I had as a young boy looking at it, as if fresh out of the fridge! 


From The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids. LadyBird Easy-Reading Books 


For me, this image was pure cruelty. His agonising stance, his rough worn knees and pained expression, as he sweated and panted along the track alone, were shocking. All I wanted to do was to rush in there and help him. I remember the sense of his aimless, desperate wandering - after all, who, in this land, was going to help him? - and I was pretty sure there wasn’t a reputable hospital nearby.  And as for the goats who did this to him, I despised them and their self-righteous goodness, their spiteful alter egos, not to mention their bad sewing skills, which, I remember thinking as a boy, were no better than mine.



In the story, based on the Grimm fairy tale, the mother goat leaves her kids in the house while she goes out, but warns them about a prowling wolf and says not to open the door to him if he comes calling. But the wolf tricks his way into the house and swallows the kids whole, all except one who hides in the grandfather clock. On her return, the distraught mother finds the wolf sleeping off his feast under a tree nearby and cuts open his stomach to set the kids free. She then instructs her young ones to gather rocks to fill the wolf’s tummy and she sews him back up. (Having hooves clearly makes sewing tricky, hence the haphazard stitching). Waking from his slumber, the wolf, feeling not so great, staggers and stumbles under the weight of the rocks towards a well, where he falls in to his demise.


From The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids. LadyBird Easy-Reading Books

Looking through the rest of the book, each illustration is just as loaded for me as the next. The baker’s disbelief at the sight of the wolf in his kitchen, the wolf’s enormous and terrifying feet at the window and even the texture and thickness of the dough on the wolf’s foot as he rampages through the goats' house.  

From The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids. LadyBird Easy-Reading Books


I had questions, too, about why the baker is looking slightly to the side of the wolf drooling in his kitchen and not directly at him, and doubts about why the wolf wouldn’t wake up at the jabbing insertion of the goat’s scissors into his belly when she opens him up. In hindsight, some of my interpretations of Robert Ayton’s illustrations as a child were probably not what he had anticipated or intended, my feeling sorry for the wolf being one of them. But I don’t think that matters, they certainly gave me a lot to think about, and the feelings remembered are so clear to me I can’t help but wonder how much influence this subconscious illustration library has had on my work as an illustrator today. 
  




"The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids" (1969), which brought me delight and horror in equal measure, was part of a series of “Well-Loved Tales”,  a LadyBird Easy-Reading Book (though easy on the psyche maybe not!)  that included other gems which I also relished such as "The Little Red Hen and the Grains of Wheat," "The Magic Porridge Pot" and "The Elves and the Shoemaker," all re-told from the original Grimm stories by Vera Southgate and illustrated by Robert Lumley and Robert Ayton, among others.

 

 

The wolf’s tragic story wasn’t the only illustration embedded into my memory, of course there are others. 

Each Christmas I was given a Rupert annual as a gift. I never read the stories inside properly, I only looked at the pictures and from these I would form my own version of Rupert’s escapades. But the images that thrilled me the most were the end pages. These were full scenes, often of Rupert and his chums looking out over a vista, a snap shot in time from one of his adventures, which, for me, somehow always felt like the exciting possibility of the summer holiday I was about to have. I was transported. I was there in the scene with Rupert. I was one of his mates!

Rupert The Daily Express Annual 1974 end papers - signed Cubie
Rupert The Daily Express Annual 1976 end papers - signed Cubie
Rupert The Daily Express Annual 1973 end papers - signed Bestall

Inspired by William Roscoe’s 1807 poem of the same name, Alan Aldridge’s "The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast" (1973) also included landscapes and scenes. For me the background was important, the incidental details were the parts I liked most, and Alan Aldridge’s pictures are crammed full of the essential non-essentials and, as with the Rupert annuals, I never read the text.

 

The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast, William Plomer &Alan Aldridge (illustrator)

 

The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast, William Plomer &Alan Aldridge (illustrator)


These were, and still are, thrilling and engrossing images and, like the wolf’s story, brought up exciting questions and a lot of wondering. The illustration of Dandy Rat and the Footpads includes a visual game and invites you to find the Stoat’s name hidden in the picture, exciting in itself, but what really interested me as a child was the size of the horse compared to the other characters. Was the horse a special tiny horse or, more exhilarating, were Dandy and his mates the size of an adult human? I loved the badness of this image. These were subversive characters up to no good. 

The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast, William Plomer &Alan Aldridge (illustrator)


I like that a child’s interpretation of an illustration can be utterly different from its intention and that stories made up in the mind can be equally thrilling for the individual. What freedom and flights of fancy the imagination can take from a captivating image. Does it really matter where it takes the reader? I think probably not.



I was curious to know what images other authors and illustrators might have fixed firmly in the subconscious or lying latent in the mind, so I asked the members of the Picture Book Den team to reveal them…




Pippa Goodhart
I’m afraid that mine is a horror one as well. I’ve just popped around to my mum’s to photograph this from the book of Edgar Allan Poe stories illustrated by Arthur Rackham. This is from "The Pit And The Pendulum." My big brother showed it to me when I was quite young. He explained that the swinging axe pendulum was coming lower and lower. The picture fascinated and terrified me. I have still never read the story, but I was deeply aware of that book on that bookcase, and, just sometimes, I would take a deep breath and open it. It still makes me feel sick. 

I can remember lots of nice pictures from other books, but this is the one that churns me, taking me right back to childhood.


Arthur Rackham

Jane Clarke
Mine, too, is from a Ladybird Book, "Down Duckling," illustrated by A.J. McGregor, 1942 (!)

It's of Downy Duckling falling through the ice and dragging his friend Monty in with him. (We lived near Wicksteed Park lake which often iced over in the winter, and my parents instilled in me the dangers of falling through thin ice). The image brings back the remembrance of the feelings it invoked - fear and distress - quickly followed by the huge relief of the happy ending. But it's not the happy ending image that I held in my mind's eye, it's this one.

 
A.J.McGregor


Lucy Rowland
I also found the images from the old Ladybird fairy tale books really striking and memorable and looking at them now really takes me right back! My sister and I had so many of the books, so it was hard to think of a single image, but I remember the end papers being a big tree with all the characters on and I must have looked at that so many times! 


 
LadyBird Fairy Tales - end papers


Paeony Lewis

For me it’s usually the theme behind an entire book that I recall, particularly when it resonated with me on an emotional level. However, I’ve always been intrigued by secrets and hidden worlds, so I adored Andy Pandy’s idyllic picnic behind the magical fronds of the willow tree. Later in life I lent the book to someone so they could pick out a weeping willow tree for me at the garden centre – I wanted to emulate Andy Pandy, Looby Loo and Teddy (now I’ve written this, I sound rather pathetic!).

 
Andy Pandy and the Willow Tree, illustrated by Matvyn Wright, early 1960s


Also, I liked to explore the woods at the bottom of the garden and make up stories (this was when very young children went out to play on their own). The thought of a faerie world lurking beneath the ground enthralled me, so I adored this image from the British fairy tale, ‘Kate Crackernuts’.

 
British Fairy Tales, illustrated by Pauline Diana Baynes, 1965

Mini Grey
I just got thrown into Ladybird Book Central and ended up buying the Ladybird Book of Understanding Numbers because of my fierce memory of those currant buns. 





In this image (from The Princess and the Pea, also a LadyBird EasyReader ) the princess is SO extremely wet and shiny and the green dress is unusual – is it a pea premonition? What is she up to running around in her green dress in the rain anyway? But as a child I thought it was just a really exciting picture of a really wet princess.

The Princess and the Pea LadyBird Easy Reader Robert Ayton (illustrator)


And this picture was very important – it was like the book reaching out to you and saying – yup, it’s all real, come and find me.

But the whole Princess & Pea message is such a stinker – that only royalty are able to be hypersensitive.


 
The Princess and the Pea LadyBird Easy Reader Robert Ayton (illustrator)


What appears notable about all these illustrations is not that they are the most loved favourites from our collective childhoods but more that they have un-apologetically imposed themselves onto our memories. Deep treasures that hold complex thoughts and feelings whether you like them or not. I can't help but wonder if the books we make today are having the same impact on children as these images have - we'll just have to wait and see.

Thank you to Pippa, Lucy, Jane, Paeony, Mini and the young Tim Knapman for contributing to this post. If you have an illustration implanted in your memory that you would like to share, please do so in the comments section.

To read Timothy Knapman's post mentioned earlier in this blog:
http://picturebookden.blogspot.com/2019/05/why-are-we-afraid-of-dark-by-timothy.html

Garry Parsons is an illustrator of many picture books for children but as yet, none with wolves in.

www.garryparsons.co.uk 
 @icandrawdinos

Monday, 29 July 2019

"Designing books is my life – I love it." • Ness Wood

Behind the scenes with acclaimed book designer, Ness Wood. In this guest blog post, Ness looks at the processes involved in designing Sam Boughton's debut picture book, The Extraordinary Gardener, which has recently been shortlisted for the 2019 Klaus Flugge Prize.


The Extraordinary Gardener by Sam Boughton (Tate Publishing, 2018)
Hi! I am Ness Wood, a freelance book designer working for various publishers. Holly Tonks (then at Tate Publishing) contacted me to see if I wanted to work on Sam Boughton’s book. I knew Sam’s work as I collaborate with Cambridge School of Art, providing lectures and presenting the students work at the Bologna Book Fair. I love Sam’s illustration and I am aware of how hard she worked for her final show and, after it, continually developing her style to what it looks like today.

Holly sent me the text and I did initial layouts as a starting point. Prior to this, Sam and Holly had been working on the story and flow of the book.

I usually do a few examples of typefaces that I think could be used, to see how different styles of font ‘feel’ with the text and images – it’s is about complimenting the images and story; the typeface could be contrasting or it could be sympathetic to the style of illustration.

The editor and designer and author/illustrator come to an agreement about which to use and then Sam does roughs for the book. Sam had already roughed the book out, but after doing some tweaks to some of the spreads and pacing, she sends me the roughs digitally. I position them in InDesign, considering the text and the image placement in order to get balance across the spread. Some of the spreads may be double-page spreads and some may be singles or have vignettes – at this point the layout is still ‘up in the air.’


Sam Boughton's roughs, a double-page spread from The Extraordinary Gardener

There is lots of to-ing and fro-ing as a designer – sending layouts by pdf to the editor and then doing the amends and then consulting with Sam to see if she thinks certain layouts/amends to her original layouts will work. It is a collaborative process.


Another rough and early layout from inside Sam Boughton's The Extraordinary Gardener

After the roughs and layouts are okayed Sam starts the artwork. After Sam has done one piece of artwork, the Tate get a test proof done – this is a proof which will show Sam how all her colours will be reproduced when printed. As Sam works digitally this will show her what she needs to do to amend any of the colours in photoshop to achieve the colour she desires.

It is at this stage that I start doing cover designs – I have the roughs so I can use those in order to start some initial ideas. Covers are often needed early for catalogues/sale material.

I send cover ideas to Holly and she will discuss them with her team. Usually the editor will come back to me with feedback and then I will amend the ideas and they present them again. I will share them with Sam to see what she thinks and then we will discuss further.

Above and below are early versions of the cover design.


The design is tweaked until finally we have final cover, front and back (shown below)


Sam will have been doing the artwork for the insides. Her artwork is all done by hand using ink pastel and paint, which she then scans in and puts the elements together in photoshop. So when she has finished the illustrations, she will send it to me digitally, rather than as physical pieces of actual artwork, and I will position the files and then send a pdf with my comments to the editor. We will collate our comments and then send them to Sam. There may be some pieces of artwork Sam needs to amend, though hopefully not, as any issues should have been sorted out at the rough stage. No illustrator really wants to start amending artwork after they have finished the book, but it does happen. The cover is also finalised too at this stage and the type, colours and the back cover copy is also checked. The whole book is then once more checked over, for any typos or sentences that do not quite work or any images that have been cropped wrongly or need repositioning.

The book is then sent to be proofed and then usually the editor and illustrator and designer go through the proofs together. It is very exciting to see the proofs: Sam’s illustrations actually on paper.

No one book is the same, so other projects may have other stages, and more complex issues. Sam’s book is an amazing début and I am very proud to have worked on it.

Many thanks to Ness Wood for her great insight into the design process behind children's picture books. For more information on Ness, book design and illustration, including courses (via Orange Beak Studio), please visit: nesswood.co.uk

The Extraordinary Gardener by Sam Boughton is one of six books by outstanding debut picture-book illustators, shortlisted for the 2019 Klaus Flugge Prize.The winning book will be announced 11 Sept 2019.