Berkhamsted and Tring Gazette

Chaulden Infants School bookworms learn eye-popping techniques from children’s author

During the visit, he worked with all the pupils in small workshops, showing them techniques and helping them to design and construct their own books.
School spokesman Julie James said: “John is an expert at paper engineering and in his books he creates amazing and surprising pop-ups.
“The children used words such as ‘ wow’, ‘amazing’ and ‘brilliant’ when they realised the pop up effects they had created themselves under his direction.
“The buzz of excitement from the children continued throughout the day and was enjoyed by all.”
Author John also illustrated a picture of a snake and monkey for the school’s main hall wall to mark his visit.

Pop-up books workshop – 3Corners Centre

I’ll be running a workshop as part of Islington Exhibits, organised by Rowan Arts. Irma will be assisting, bringing her own special expertise to the event.

Saturday 20 July 11am-3pm
at 3Corners Centre, Northampton Road, EC1R 0HU

Email or call 07975 758 756 to book a place

Come and create your very own pop-up book – all materials and instructions will be provided. The workshop will explore themes of family traditions and the finished books will be exhibited at Bookends, 66 Exmouth Market from 22 July. After the book-making session, the group will be going to the Whitecross Street Party to join in the festivities

If you’d like to join us for the full-day session, which will cover more advanced techniques, please book in advance. Anyone who would like to join us for part of the day is welcome to drop in at any time.

Suitable for children (6+) and adults (children under 10 must be accompanied by a carer)

The Book of Light Poems

book of light poems 18I like the idea of a book without text which then becomes complete with the addition of spoken words. I’ve just finished constructing The book of Light Poems which will be used by Joseph Coelho in The PoetryJoe Show, soon to start touring.

As we developed the project, it became clear that we needed a ‘book’ to contain the bits which made the visual part of the show work and that it required a certain look to get across that special quality of Joe’s poems. There also had to be an some element to carry through the theme of light.

The show’s Autumn schedule is filling up fast with a few early shows, including this Sunday at the Warwick Arts Centre. To see all the dates so far, click here.

book of light poems 22book of light poems Abook of light poems Bbook of light poems Cbook of light poems D

Fat Larry’s Fruit and Veg Shop

I recently changed my facebook page to a picture of the fruit and vegetable shop from Detective Paws. The images below show some of the stages during the development of the spread from initial rough through to finished artwork.
The sequence is one I often use in my school talks. Recently, on a return visit to a school, I was told how they had picked up on something I had said on my previous visit. I don’t remember this, but apparently I had told one child that his work wasn’t ‘wrong’ as he claimed, it was just ‘not finished’. By this I meant that all those not-quite-right roughs aren’t wrong, but stepping stones or guides to help you get to where you want to go. I constantly try to emphasise to the children that my work doesn’t come out fully formed but that there is a developmental process behind it all.Detective Paws fruit n veg shop 02Detective Paws fruit n veg shop 01Detective Paws fruit n veg shop 03Detective Paws fruit n veg shop 04Detective Paws fruit n veg shop 05

Golden Cat

golden catgolden cat 1I was really thrilled to get another package from Prep 2 at Truro High School just before Christmas.
I had constructed a ‘magnifying’ box as a thank you for letting me see their wonderful project and they liked this enough to send me something in return (see below). I was very impressed by the range of skills and techniques they used to make their version of the Golden Cat from Detective Paws and by what a well-observed, collaborative piece of work it was – very gratifying.DSC_0095DSC_0098

The Big Match

The revised edition of my picture book The Big Match, published by Tango Books, is now out.

This version has a blow football game at the end, in place of the static electricity game of the original. I loved the magic of the static electricity device and the novelty aspect was enough for me, although some of the buyers and bookshops were confused about how the ‘game’ worked. Having said that, I’m also very happy with the blow football game as an alternative ending and it was also a good excuse for me to add a secret hidden container for the balls and straws.

The books has been selling fast so if you want to get your copy, you’ll need to act soon.
Contact or go to Amazon

Review of the book here: