'When I came up with this illustration, I was primarily thinking about my 9-year-old daughter and the books she enjoyed either being read to or reading by herself. She's a big fan of Roald Dhal with Dav Pilkey's Dog Man series coming a close second, followed by the occasional foray into David Walliams' books, especially The Midnight Gang. I also wanted to develop the idea that a good book attracts other readers. The big dog looming over them is just a bit of fun.'
'The book The Dragon who Lost his Fire is a story that my son wrote for a school project. Sharing stories is something that human beings have done for thousands of years. We use stories to make sense of the world and to share that understanding with others.'
'Frederick by Leo Lionni was my favourite picture book when I was growing up. Thinking about that, my friends and I often pretended we were mice. I wonder if that was actually inspired by Frederick!'
'This is an illustration I've made of one of my favourite books when I was a child, Baby Come Out! I was totally obsessed with that story of a baby that doesn't want to be born and the whole family trying to lure them into coming out. it was funny and sweet and surreal at the same time. I loved the illustrations too, the baby had very strong features, and A LOT of hair. Googling that book in order to make the illustration, I've found out that six months after it was originally published, it was selected by School Library Journal as the "worst picture book of the year" which I find hilarious.'
Venezuelan-born and Londoner by choice, the wonderful Marianna Madriz, created a very topical illustration and this is what she had to say:
'I wanted my illustration to be all about reading together, even in the current times. Growing up, my friends and I used to read the same books and write our own little stories based on them, practising our (terrible) writing skills. We also shared what we liked, what we didn’t like, what thrilled us and what shocked us. As an adult I still enjoy talking about the books I read, and I love it it when others recommend me books too. I find this so important - it expands our minds and makes us discover new narratives, turning us into more knowledgeable and open-minded individuals. I hope everyone recommends each other plenty of books, especially now when the nights are getting colder and cosier!'
'Mog the Forgetful Cat was one of my favourite books. I loved the way Judith Kerr captured the character of Mog and as as child, I hoped that I’d be able to draw as well as she did when I grew up!'
Large-scale installation and illustration duo, Good Wives and Warriors, shared this stunning illustration from their latest book, Mythopedia, all about the importance of sharing stories. Here's what Becky and Louise told us:
'This artwork depicts a group of people doing what humans have done since the dawn of time, sitting together and sharing stories. We believe that the gift of storytelling and reading books is one of the most important and wonderful things you can give to a child. In our painting there a people of all ages, young and old, because storytelling is and has always been something for everyone to enjoy and benefit from.'
Last but certainly not least, we've got two great videos to share with you, made by and featuring two of our Autumn 2020 authors, Anna Claybourne and Robin Etherington. Both Anna and Robin talk about favourite books from their childhoods that have had a lasting impact on their lives and contributed somewhat to their current professional careers. Enjoy!