hello, team scholastic uk!

Big relief, I've just finished the artwork for my next as-yet-unannounced picture book for Scholastic UK, the publishers who last spring published Grumpycorn:

One of my favourite things about going into the office is seeing where everyone works, and meeting some of the people who make the books happen! Scholastic is shaped like a big round loop, so it's possible to run the full circle and see everyone (which I do whenever I get a chance). Here, come along with me for a peek inside. Here's my new editor Fiz Osbourne, who's been working with me on the latest book. She regularly does #AskAChildrensBookEditor question-and-answer sessions on Twitter. I first met her at the Bath Children's Lit Fest way back in 2010, which was her first-ever time accompanying an author on an event trip. It was reassuring because we were both newbies!

Here's fab publicist Louisa Danquah, who set up the Waterstones Covent Garden book party and has been helping me stay organised with events.

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painting, painting...

I'm not allowed to say what I'm working on, but after all these events, I having some hard-core work time in the studio, making a book. Painting is wonderful, but also takes SO MUCH TIME.

reeve & mcintyre at worcester beeline festival 2019

Here's a shaky picture I drew on the train up to Worcester, where I was going to do author events for Worcester University's Beeline Storytelling Festival:

The first thing I noticed when I arrived in Worcester on Thursday afternoon wasn't the bees, it was the swans. SO MANY SWANS.

On Friday morning, schools bused in children from nearby towns to join me for a big rollicking Grumpycorn session. Here's a photo tweeted as the children were arriving by Mrs Beasley from Somers Park Primary (@SomersPark2LE):

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reeve & mcintyre at wimbledon bookfest 2019

Neither Philip Reeve nor I had been to Wimbledon BookFest before, and we had no idea when we went along yesterday, what a fabulous festival it would turn out to be!

The theatre space in the big festival tent was top-notch and it quickly filled with eager schoolchildren ready to talk books and draw with us. Here's a photo tweeted by Bishop Gilpin Primary School in Merton @BishopGilpinPS, where we're taking suggestions from the audience:

One of the amazing things about Wimbledon BookFest is that they got the sponsorship to give EVERY CHILD A BOOK! When you've spent an hour getting kids excited to read a story you've created, it's wonderful to know that they'll be able to go away and read it straight away. And it was wonderful getting to connect briefly with hundreds of children individually, to give them a book signed and dedicated specially to them. Here are a couple photos tweeted by Hall School Wimbledon @HswJunior:

Getting people drawing is a huge part of what we do at events; it pulls everyone in and gives them confidence that they can create a storybook character, and a structure that they can adapt to create different characters of their own. This time I taught them how to draw Cardigan Faun, one of the mythical creatures featured in our second Roly-Poly Flying Pony book, Kevin's Great Escape. (We have this and more free drawing tutorials on my website.) Aren't these great?! I love how they're all very competently drawn, but also each faun has its own fun personality.

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SCBWI picture book day 2019

Here are some sketches I made of speakers at the SCBWI Picture Book Day conference on Saturday, in the beautiful CLPE children's book library behind the Old Vic Theatre in London. I'll try to blog more and post a few more photos soon!

Photo by Candy Gourlay, who organised the day with Mo O'Hara:

Edit: Wow, artist LZhi Ling Lee drew me - Thank you! 💛 Do go look at more of her art over on Instagram, at @curioszhi.