Thursday, January 19, 2012

The number '4'

Yes, it’s another new start. This really is the year of the blog. Well that’s the plan! Something for adults wanting to create books for children, and something for children who like to write, draw and be creative.

It’s pretty obvious last year was a write off for blogging for me – but not for book writing. GMC Publications, in the UK, is just putting the final touches to ‘Calligraphy for Greetings Cards and Scrapbooking’ and should send it to the printer on January 24. It will be out in June. Yipee! It was a very time consuming project – but I’m delighted with the colour proofs I’ve been sent.

Next project: This one’s for charity and organised by . uTales allows authors and illustrators to use their enhancement tools to create and sell  books with basic animations without charge. A percentage of profits go to, a very worthy charity that helps communities in the developing world to establish schools and libraries. A group of creators are now collaborating to produce one spread each of an alphabet book, and a counting book, for which all profits will go to Pencils of Promise. I’ve composed the verse for the number ‘4’ and the wonderful Anil Tortop will illustrate it. I’m finding it incredibly hard to wait to see how she interprets it. I may write the words in calligraphy, if there’s room. We’ll see. I’ll let you peep when it’s done.

Four green frogs with big googly eyes
Eating wiggly worms and crispy crunchy flies
This one's for me, and here's one for you -
A special one for Mummy, and my Daddy, too.
Four full frogs with big googly eyes
And fat froggy tummies - just look at their size!

Special thanks to my ‘think-tank’ friends who helped refine the choice of words!

If you’d like to draw pictures yourself to go with the words, and send them as images, I’ll add them to this blog and to my website – Peter (at) You could print out the words first and draw the frogs around them to make a picture or poster. Or you could imagine it was for an open 2 page spread in a book, and if you want to, have some lines of the verse on one page and some on the other, splitting them up as you like.

Book illustrators usually start by making rough sketches of where everything might fit. They try lots of ideas and then work more on the one they like best. One big wide picture could be drawn for a double page spread with a background to cover the whole area, but no important drawings where the words will be positioned. The words are usually created on a transparent layer that a computer can arrange over the top of the picture. This allows new replacement words to be used if the book gets published in a foreign country.

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