World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators and reading. It is designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books marked in over 100 countries.
On the 6th of March, children of all ages come together to appreciate books and reading.
The main aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading. But the two are no Longer as connected as the once used to be: electronic books, games and apps now form a growing part a child’s reading life. At the same time the number of titles published each year is almost unsustainable as it is staggering. 292,037 new titles and editions in the USA, 149,800 new titles in the UK for a start.
We’ve been led to believe that paper from managed forests is environmentally friendly and responsible. Looking after the environment is slowly persuading businesses (like publishing) to rethink their priorities, but, seriously, with the years it takes to grow a forest one has to wander if the act of chopping trees to make books has contributed to the current changes in our climate…
Perhaps we need to be thinking in terms of promoting reading more than books? I’m definitely in the keep books camp, but it would be great to see smaller numbers and higher quality. After all, the books we have are the ones we love.
I’m not known for painting animals, it has to be said. It took a long time to accept that I could draw and paint animals that look like humans , mainly because I got hung up on the word that describes this process; Anthropomorphism.
Or, perhaps I couldn’t let myself enjoy considering the possibility. The work I do is mainly about people and objects and how they interact. I spent a lot of time doing that. But, as every day is a learning day, last year seemed like the perfect time to start focusing on a new skill – two new skills, actually; creating animal characters and then creating stories where they could be free. Creating them in my own way is like cutting through a thick jungle with a blunt blade and maybe one day things will start to come together.
It’s taken all this time to believe, understand and get excited about this new process. Here are a few from the sketchbooks. All of these characters have made their way in to a book idea with the working title ‘Norton’s Nose Knows’… I’ll leave it at that for now!
What a short month it has been! It’s been a few weeks of behind the scenes work: So I have a newspaper to publish, what about getting people to see it, whose going to pay for the thing, how any people do we need to keep it alive? Note all who are thinking of producing something for an audience. The idea is the easiest part!
This month we set up:
Payment systems for the coming chicken website
Finalised paper stock and tabloid size
Narrowed down the printer to a choice of two
Held a meeting with someone who will hopefully be the print and production manager
Set up a schedule of social media activity to promote chicken!
Networked like crazy after learning to tell the story of chicken in less than two minutes
Spoke with the first of the sponsors, who asked for more information, so…
Prepared further information for potential sponsors to make it easier of them to decide to do it
Prepared the first draft of the next issue
I think that’s about it… So far. We want this to work and for as long as possible. Back to the creative stuff for a few weeks. I’m thinking f a fresh way to describe the readers and users of the publication:
Toddlers = eggs
Children = chicken
Grown ups = hens and roosters
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.
Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.
It’s been an incredible few months.I’ve been slowly and steadily heading back to doing books full-time and it hasn’t been easy at all.
The plan was to return to the days when there were only books and book ideas on my work list. I have a couple of titles to try as ebooks and started planning for the Bologna Book Fair 2014.
But the idea of becoming a book publisher and a micro sized book publisher at that, worried me. That hasn’t gone away. It may be my vocation, but it’s still business, right? All that lies before me is an incredible schedule of trying to get the titles noticed, paying for a print run and then worrying about when (if) it will make the invested money back. It ooh several more weeks looking at numbers trying to find another way to minimise the risk. With th sol school publishing knowledge I have, it feels like the path gets narrower the further down it one travels. And its great like that; you might brush against a revolutionary new idea and succeed. But you might also brush against something disastrous.
The past few years I have started to value community. These are the people that we can all count on, in however small way. Your neighbourhood, your family, your friends around the world are all incredibly important. I struggled to tell these stories in book form for children. Its better when they are experienced in a different way, somehow. I’ve also been designing and editing newspapers and magazines so have been aware of the many ways to tell a story.
All this preamble is a fitting introduction to the subject of this post. I think I’ve cracked it; the other way to tell stories and still get everything I want!
A tabloid sized newspaper for primary school people. Have a look at the preview.
It won’t be available everywhere. It starts in my neighbourhood early next year. It’s a quarterly. It involves its audience and their grown ups. It brings children’s content to the fore, not just children’s books and I think it’s the closes thing to a physical blog that have ever worked on. If it works, then it will grow and spread. Time will tell.
What if animals knew they were endangered? Just an idea…
My first visit to Berlin resulted in my first chalk lettering. What fun!