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festive seahorse unicorn

Seamus the Seahorse Unicorn says he hopes you all had a very merry Christmas. :)

I spent a lot of Christmas next to a sleeping poodle:

More photos coming soon! :)

those ethiopian psalter guys

Ha ha, I love these dudes so much.

This was today's #PortraitChallenge over at the Virtual Studio (@StudioTeaBreak on Twitter), and here's the original drawing from a 20th-century Ethiopian Psalter by an unknown artist, kept at the University of Oregon Museum of Natural & Cultural History (which I discovered here on BibliOdyssey).

It's been so fun seeing people take up the drawing challenges this year! We've kind of pared it down to #MythicalMashup on Monday, Alison Diamond's environmental #ShapeChallenge on Tuesday, #ShapeChallenge on Wednesday, #PortraitChallenge on Thursday, and Fri-Sun to catch up on anything we missed during the week. But we can always shake it up, and people are welcome to set out new challenges. (Read more about it on the Virtual Studio webpage.) This is @boydraws' first time taking part, and it's great:

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staying warm at work

We're going through some flux at the studio right now; The Fleece Station are going to be moving to a new place soon, but we have to do some things to the new space before we haul our stuff over. In the meantime, it's a bit nippy here! The new place will have better heating and I'm really looking forward to that.

Sometimes when I get too cold, I do a little dance to get warm, but sometimes I just take a break to draw something very stupid to cheer myself up. I saw this picture of Clifford (I read so many Clifford books as a kid) and decided to see how it would turn out if I drew Clifford without looking at the paper. I rather like it, actually!

Edit: Ha ha, Philip Ardagh did it, too! :D

And I just spotted this! New York Public Libraries ranked the American edition of Pugs of the Frozen North in their Top Ten of their Best Books for Kids 2016 list!

So many fabulous story creators entered the Emirates Flight Time Stories competition, but now it's time to announce the results! And the winner is ...*drum roll* ...

Four-year-old Maddison Penney, from Dorset,
for her story Monkey Goes on a Plane!!

Once upon time there lived a cheeky monkey called Jeffrey who lived in a jungle far away. Jeffrey had six brothers and sisters who all loved playing in the jungle, swinging from tree to tree. But not Jeffrey, he didn't enjoy living in the jungle not one bit, you see Jeffrey was different from his family, all his family looked exactly the same, they were about two foot tall, brown and fluffy, with a curly tail. Jeffrey however was a lot smaller, in fact half as tall! He had two big ears, and a flick of hair on the top of his head that his mother would always lick to stay in place. One day, Jeffrey and his Brother had a big argument, he felt so excluded he decided to run away.

'They won't even notice I'm gone' cried Jeffrey. So Jeffrey packed a bag with a banana, a little jacket in case he got cold and his favourite toy and off he headed into the jungle. Jeffrey must of been travelling for days he was so hungry he had already eaten his banana he had packed. When suddenly the jungle had ended, he was in a very loud, busy place with lots of lights! Jeffrey had no idea where he was, when he heard the loudest sound he had ever heard! giant white piece of metal with big wings and a glass front came hurtling toward him before abruptly stopping.

'This must be the airport my Brother told me about!' Jeffrey exclaimed in amazement as he had never believed it was real.

Jeffrey decided he was going to jump aboard! He saw a large crate filled with peanuts that had a gap just small enough for him to squeeze through. He waited until he could feel the crate being wheeled onto the plane. Jeffrey loved the pplane ride, it was like nothing his Brother had told him about, although he loved landing hte most, it felt like a big slide in the sky!

Jeffrey managed to climb out the box without anybody noticing (although perhaps they would wonder where all the peanuts had gone!) He then began exploring, it wasn't long before he reached the sea with a beach with the whitest sand! Jeffrey found a hammock hanging between two trees, he laid there for awhile but it wasn't long before he started to miss his family. He picked up some shells and put them in his bag, hoping his parents might forgive him for leaving and sest off to find the airport again. He jumped in a box full of bananas and once landed ran through the jungle looking for his family who were all fast asleep.

He snuggled up next to his Mother, who when he woke was so glad to see Jeffrey she wasn't angry at all. Jeffrey loved telling all his Family about his adventure, but most of all he loved being back with his family - in the jungle.

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aid for aleppo

Help my co-author Philip Reeve and me raise £600 to help children and their families in Aleppo. The first person who agrees to donate £200 to British Red Cross, we'll both match your donation and also send you a signed, doodled & dedicated hardcover set of our four books. (Please leave a comment here or e-mail me: sarah at jabberworks dot co dot uk.)

If you don't have £200 or aren't the first person to offer, please don't let that stop you from donating even small amounts to British Red Cross, Medecines San Frontieres or any of the other good charities trying to help out.

Edit: We have a donor!
Big thanks to Sean Jones for stepping forward!

He also flagged a great project set up called Billable Hour, where a group of lawyers set up a donation page and invited professionals to donate a sum equivalent to a single billable hour of their time. They raised over £200,000 for Save the Children (donation link here)!