Dulce como un te quiero written by Marina Montero and published by Penguin Random House España. ISBN: 978-84-488-3941-3
Here are the illustrations I created for the book back in 2014
El oso chiquitín se desperezó aún adormilado y bostezó dos veces. Olfateó el aire buscando el aroma del desayuno y fue entonces cuando se preguntó por primera vez qué era aquel olor que le envolvía allá donde estuviese.
El oso chiquitín y el oso grandote salieron de la madriguera en busca de aquel olor tan especial. Y en el bosque olía a resina, y a miel, y a avellanas y a lluvia, y a fuego... pero ninguno de esos era el olor que buscaba el oso chiquitín.
Más tarde, cuando la luna asome por el horizonte y el oso chiquitín se acurruque soñoliento en los cálidos brazos del oso grandote, descubrirá que el aroma del amor es dulce como un te quiero.
Little bear, still sleepy, stretched and yawned twice. He sniffed the air for the smell of breakfast. What was that smell that enveloped him? Little bear and Big bear leave the den and go in search of a very special aroma. They discover many smells- tree resin, hazelnuts, honey, apples, rain, and fire ... but none of these are the right smell. Evening, when the moon peeks over the horizon and the Little bear snuggles sleepily in the warm arms of the big bear, he realises that it wasn't really a smell he was sensing, it was the sweetest thing of all - love!
It's Snorey Time written by neuro-linguistics expert Catherine Pybus together with her poet mother Meg. "It's Snorey time" uses advanced language patterns to help send children to sleep.
Meet the Snoreys - Mummy, Daddy, Mop, Snuggle, Snuffle and Pignut. This family of dormice love to sleep, all except the youngest, Pignut. Instead, he goes on an adventure around the forest and discovers the dormouse-written 'Secret Book of Sleep'. Reading it, Pignut finally drops off. Underlying this delightful tale is a secret weapon for exhausted parents - the story is written using simple neurolinguistic techniques, designed to have a soporific effect on the listener. Also includes an audio version of the tale.
Here are the character sketches I did for It's Snorey Time. I think that it's a real shame that these characters weren't carried over into a book series.
Number four of my character studies for published books. Today I've plumped for the crazy duo- Big Brown Bear and Little Koala Bear from 'If Big Can... I can' written by Beth Shoshan. It was published way back in 2006 by Meadowside Children's Books. My first picture book gig! I can remember how anxious and excited I was at that time. I'd never even attempted to illustrate a full picture book before, but I struggled through with the help of the hugely talented Mark Mills. Mark was art director at Meadowside at that time, just before he left and set up Plum Pudding Illustration... my agents.
The sketch above... just for laughs, obviously my characters don't visit pubs :oD "I'll have a pint, and short for my little friend here."
And below from the finished art...
Number three of my character design series of posts, today it's squirrels for the title: 'Welcome to the World!' written by Helen Foster James and published by Sleeping Bear Press.
Although this is an American book, I’ve based all of the characters on European wild animals, because I really wanted to do red squirrels. They are such lovely colourful little creatures with tufty ears... great fun to draw and paint.
As well as character designs, I sometimes have to show the publisher how I imagine the surroundings will look. Some things were changed in the final art, but the basic ideas remained.
If you'd like to purchase a copy of the book you can find links here...
I'll be selling off some of the book's pencil drawings plus these pencil sketches in the new year. If you subscribe to my newsletter email (you'll find the form on this page) I'll let you know as soon as they are available to buy from my online store.
If you’d like to know about new posts, new books or new items in my store you can subscribe to my email newsletter (you’ll find the sign up form on this page) and follow me on Pinterest.
Here's the second in my 'Character Studies' posts. Today: the bear family from 'Hush Little Baby' published by Tiger Tales way back in 2007.
At the start of most projects I have to show the publisher (and myself) how I'm going to portray the main characters in the book.
I seem to remember, when I attempted these sketches, I limited the time I could spend over each page... timed myself against the clock, because I didn't want to obsess over them too much. I have a really bad habit of spending hours trying to perfect characters and end up with them looking stiff and lacking any life. So, I half closed my eyes, concentrated hard and went for it! They are extremely rough, but I managed to create a cute ursine family that I could work with.
Here are a couple of the finished illustrations. You can see I stuck pretty much to those first rushed sketches. Back then I was working in watercolour and colour pencils on rough watercolour paper.
When I start a project for a publisher I first have to come up with a few character designs. Over the next few weeks I thought I'd post some of my favourites. Today it's dragons!
The book: 'Deri Dan Y Daliwr Dreigiau' by Haf Llewelyn, a welsh language book. You can find out more here>
A fun new picture book written by me... all it needs now is a publisher. If you are a publisher and would like to see the text please contact my agent - Plum Pudding Illustration
Doggos, pirates, treasure, bananas and a happy ending... what more do you need for a fun read?
Hyde Park Squirrels is a series of books devised and written by Nick Croydon and illustrated by yours truly.
It's been such a joy illustrating these books. The story has allowed me to do what I love most... draw anthropomorphic characters having serious adventures, and the traditional vibe suits me down to the ground.
Nicholas Croydon has worked in the Publishing Industry for over 20 years mostly involved in international sales. It was during these long flights that the Hyde Park squirrels were penned.
'I sold many copies of "If Big Can... I Can" and have always admired Petra’s talent, so I was delighted when she chose to team up with me. The series is purposely nostalgic and traditional and I hope will appeal to children who can self-read and parents alike.'
The animal world of the Hyde Park Squirrels is certain to delight adults and children alike. These initial four titles in the series feature the exciting adventures of Luke and Holly Bushytail.
The story begins with Luke. We follow him as he leaves his cosy home in the country and travels to the city of London and then overseas to America. On the way he discovers new friends, and his long lost sister, Holly. Luke and Holly have many exciting adventures usually involving the beautiful and mischievous cat- Sofia and her gang of naughty rats.
'This series carries a lovely message that is certain to inspire confidence and adventure in any child. More simply, the series delivers four magnificently crafted adventures set against rich and detailed artwork, which is on occasion, gentle, warm and intimate, but that, with a page turn, can lead the reader to dramatic panoramas. They are sure to become read and re-read modern classics. A must have for every child’s bookshelf.'
Here are two little board books that I illustrated for 'Sleeping Bear Press'. I really do hope that there'll be more as I absolutely loved designing these two classic nursery songs. This blog post concerns a garden full of little creatures and a soggy spider...
Remember the old rhyme: Itsy Bitsy Spider climbed up the waterspout, or maybe you know it as Incy Wincy Spider, well, now it's one of 'Grandma's Nursery Rhymes' board books. You may not know about Grandma. She's rabbit in a straw hat. Here she is playing 'Old MacDonald' with all her farm friends:
I'll tell you about that book another time, but, back to to Itsy Bitsy the washed out spider.
In this book Grandma Bunny is doing a spot of gardening. Her garden is full of all sorts of lovely flowers and lots of little creatures. It's up to the reader to find one dragonfly, two worms, three grasshoppers, four ladybugs, five snails, six caterpillars, seven butterflies and eight bees.
The story plays out... Itsy climbs up the inside of the downspout of the greenhouse. The heavens open and the rain pours down, washing poor Itsy out into a puddle. But Grandma Bunny is there to help! She's not the squeamish sort, she loves all the little creatures (even when they eat holes in her sunflowers), she especially loves the dear little spider.
I found a rather lovely review...
5 out of 5 stars
A delightfully adorable board-book that will be an instant classic in this house
By Deb. HALL OF FAME - TOP 50 REVIEWER - VINE VOICE
Format: Board book
There's nothing quite like the unconditional love between a grandmother and grandchild. Mesh that with some old-fashioned nursery rhymes for the perfect opportunity for bonding. This is my first look at the "Grandma's Nursery Rhymes" series, but probably not the last. Not just anyone can combine a nursery rhyme with artwork to create an instant classic, but that's just what Petra Brown has done.
I've met that itsy bitsy spider many times before, once in the lap of my own grandmother and many times with small children. The rhyme is certainly a memorable one and once the tummy is tickled and the song sung, it's never forgotten. "The itsy bitsy spider / climbed up the waterspout. / Down came the rain. / and washed the spider out." Some memories never die and this delightfully charming board-book will create them for yet another generation.
I loved the Beatrice Potter-like bunny who just happens to meet that itsy bitsy spider in her garden. The spider is utterly adorable with his yellow and black stockinged feet, little feet that even have shoes. The full-page artwork will be appreciated by all and of course the board-book is perfect for little hands. In the back of the book is an activity that can be shared by Grandmas and grandchildren everywhere. Finding all the "creatures in the garden" adds just that much more fun to the book.
Hello, I'm Sid, I'm a Jack Russell terrier and I like to play ball.
This is me watching a match on TV. I'm wearing my 'Wales' rugby shirt. Looking good!
I like to celebrate any victories with a lot of barking... it feels good to vocalise my enthusiasm.
My wife Nancy is not a big fan of the game... but she loves my new book!
A warm hello to whoever is reading this. Welcome to Petra's blog. I'm an illustrator and writer of children's books and keen amateur photographer. I enjoy living in North Wales with my wonderful partner and fellow adventurer, Iain.
Working as an artist and writer can be extremely challenging financially. If you like my work you can show support and help me to keep on creating children's books by buying my art. For signed originals or prints, cards... all kinds of merchandise. Check out my shop :o)