Don't Call Me Grumpycorn: Fabulous Planet Competition!

The Don't Call Me Grumpycorn Fabulous Planet Competition is underway, deadline on Tuesday is finished! In the book Unicorn wants to find the most fabulous planet in the universe. Have a look at some of these fabulous planets! If you missed the competition, you can still watch my #DrawingWithSarah video, leading you through step-by-step how you could start off drawing a fabulous planet:

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#DrawingWithSarah: Design a Narwhal Space Cafe menu!

While I've been in lockdown, I've had a lot of fun playing around with animations of my characters from the new Don't Call Me Grumpycorn book. In the book itself, there are some peeks into the interior of Unicorn's spaceship, like this one:

But a lot of the emphasis is on the planets they visit (or don't visit, because Unicorn is very single-minded in finding his own ideal planet).

For the book's launch party, I thought it would be fun to set it in a space with a bit more room, a Unicorn Space Station, and then I amused myself by imagining all the different roles they could have on board.

Narwhal ended up as the chef, and I had fun designing his restaurant area, possibly because I really miss going to cafes! And a Narwhal Space Cafe is possibly the most fabulous cafe I could ever imagine.

Being in lockdown is a little bit like being in a spaceship; you're in a very confined area, with hostile conditions outside. But whereas people don't like lockdown, a lot of people would very, very much like to be astronauts! So it can be quite fun to see how far we can go in these limited spaces we have, and treat home like a spaceship. Let's start by creating a Narwhal Cafe on board! Or maybe you'll use the idea to spark off something a little different, perhaps a Unicorn Cafe or a Mermaid Cafe. (And Jellyfish would LOVE a Jellyfish Cafe where everything served is made out of jelly).

Drawing a menu is fun in itself, but you might want to set up a cafe and serve real food that you can make! Or you can draw two-dimensional food and prop it up in a photo to make it look real on the table. Or you could sculpt food out of play-dough or clay, take orders and serve it up! I'd love to see your pictures - do share them on the #DrawingWithSarah and #Grumpycorn hashtags!

Here's a little cafe that Studio Baby and I set up yesterday:

If you love the Grumpycorn books, be sure to check out their pages on my website: here's the new Don't Call Me Grumpycorn page.

Thatch the Moon - Part 5!

Here's the final installment of our Reeve & McIntyre story, Thatch the Moon!

We hope you enjoyed it! It's all here on the blog and on YouTube if you want to go back and have another listen. Huge thanks to Amy Sutton for the marvelous work she did reading it! If you're looking for a professional actor to do audio book work, she's very good.

Check out this wonderful drawing by Morgan Gleave!

Don't Call Me Grumpycorn launch party!

Yesterday we had a virtal launch party up in orbit, on the Unicorn Space Station, for my picture book Don't Call Me Grumpycorn! Here are three of us from my urban family unit, looking after the station control room.

The party's over, but the FABULOUS PLANET COMPETITION runs all week! The winner gets a picture of either them or someone in their family with Unicorn in space! Draw the perfect planet for Unicorn, a planet that's custom-made for you (with all your favourite things), or a dream planet for any of the characters in the story - Mermaid, Narwhal, Jellyfish, even little Goldfish! (This video is the only time Goldfish has ever had a speaking role):

Here are a few glimpses of yesterday's launch party up on the Unicorn Space Station. There was a Narwhal Bar!

Narwhal makes a great bartender, he is really very skilled at mixing drinks. Here was the menu people could choose from:

Everyone who ordered at the bar got a drink and a piece of the special galactic gateau.

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Thatch the Moon - Part 3!

Here's the third part of our Reeve & McIntyre story, Thatch the Moon, read by Amy Sutton! (You can find the first two episodes in previous entries or on my YouTube channel.)

As before, we'd LOVE to see your #ThatchTheMoon drawings inspired by the story, if you drew along while you were listening, or afterward! Perhaps one or more characters, a setting, a scene in the story, or imagine your house - or you! - thatched elaborately! Here are a few lovely responses we've received already on Twitter. Thank you, Alec, Sandra and Tilly!

Thatch the Moon - Part 2!

Our new Reeve & McIntyre story, Thatch the Moon, comes out daily in five episodes - here's the second! It's read by amazing actor Amy Sutton; if you're looking for someone to do stellar audiobook work, Amy comes highly recommended. (She's on Twitter as @TheLadyAmelia and Instagram as @theladyamelia.)

As ever, we'd love to see you draw along with the story! Share your pictures, either here in the comments on on Twitter or Instagram on the #ThatchTheMoon hashtag!

(Find the first episode in my previous post here.)

Thatch the Moon - a new Reeve & McIntyre story!

Reeve & McIntyre have come up with a new story!

Thatch the Moon comes in five daily parts, launching today, read by wonderful actor Amy Sutton (who starred in The Pugs of the Frozen North play and Philip's The Ministry of Biscuits).

While I had a lot of fun learning about animation to make this trailer, the story's an audiobook, not illustrated. Which means there's lots of room for YOUR illustrations! We're very much hoping both children and grownups will grab drawing supplies and draw along as you listen, making this a very interactive activity!

If you create any drawings, please post them on the #ThatchTheMoon hashtag so we can see!
You might draw exactly what's happening in the story, some of the characters, or even take the themes of the story to spark off your own ideas - what would your own house or block of flats, or your school, or even your own head look like with elaborate thatching done to it? Be as over-the-top and ridiculous as you like! I love drawing straw textures, they're a lot of fun.

So where did this story come from?, you might ask. It started out as a series of playful cartoons I was drawing for this LiveJournal blog, back in 2008, about a family-run thatching business. (I come frome Seattle, where thatching is very much Not a Thing, so the thatched cottages here intrigued me greatly!) While I was coming up with blog story, I didn't have a child audience in mind (or any audience really, I had about ten followers) and story had a real dark side to it. I did have the whole story plotted out for turning it into a mini comic, and I can't remember why I didn't draw the last few pages. But nearly a decade later, I showed the blog posts to Philip Reeve, and we had a good laugh over it; I let him take it away and have a play with it, and he created the main character of Lily and her dog Ponty, who are much more likeable. And I was doing events in big mad hats (see the cling-film wig for Oliver and the Seawigs)...

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Don't Call Me Grumpycorn: YOU are invited to the launch!

The launch party for Don't Call Me Grumpycorn is just around the corner, and YOU are invited!

Don't let the lockdown stop you, hop onto our virtual space shuttle and come orbit with us on the Unicorn Space Station! For the Americas, it might start a bit early for your party mood - 1pm British Summer Time is 9am in Seattle - but you're very welcome to make the journey in your pyjamas. The most interactive party will be happening on Twitter (look for #Grumpycorn, @jabberworks, @scholasticuk, @pagefortyfive) but videos will be regularly dropping through the day on my YouTube channel: Here's a schedule of events!

You don't need to buy a book to come along to the party, it's just good to get out. And if you're up for drawing with me, even better! If you do want to get a hardcover or paperback version of Don't Call Me Grumpycorn, the party's being co-hosted by fantastic bookshop Page 45, who ship worldwide and could use your custom in troubled times! The first 100 orders will get a limited bookplate edition, and if you want to get in there before the launch, you can visit their online shop. Hope to see you soon!

#DrawingWithSarah: Vern & Lettuce Disco!

Here's the latest #DrawingWithSarah, featuring the best-friend sheep and rabbit characters from my comic Vern & Lettuce and picture book, The New Neighbours! I'll read you a short comic story, show you how to draw Vern and Lettuce, then give you some tips for colouring your picture to give it a disco groove!

Click here to watch the #DrawWithRudra video!

You'll find more videos on my YouTube playlist here: