From idea to book: how a book is made

african, character, children's books, design, illustration, Ken Wilson-Max, publishing, stories

Everyone has a story inside them. Some of us tell it in a book or a play or on the stage, football pitch or boardroom. But most of us live our story, telling it to our loved ones, every day, year by year… the point is each story gets told and appreciated.

I have heard many wonderful stories and have learned to use the book as my medium. Let me share that way with you in a series of real-time posts, starting with an idea and ending (hopefully) with a beautiful book.

If you have thought of writing or illustrating your own book, or if you are just curious, then this real-time project will be of use before you get in touch.

All you have to do is follow the blog for regular monthly updates on the project. Please comment, spread the word and get involved!

Coming up in the first post; where ideas come from.

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The Grand Old Duke of York

Activities & Play, children's books, design, illustration, Ken Wilson-Max, kids

The Grand Old Duke of York (final sketch)
In 1460, Richard, The Duke of York and his army marched to his castle at Sandal to defend it against the Lancastrian army. Sandal Castle was built on top of a man-made hill 33 feet (10m) above the ground. In a moment of madness he decided to attack the Lancastrians (“ he marched them down again”). His army was overwhelmed and Richard the Duke of York was killed. A similar Nursery rhyme is The King of France went up the hill.

Ring a ring o’ roses sketch

design, illustration, North London, pre school books

Complete with spelling mistakes, here is the solution for the Ring a ring o’ roses rhyme. I decided at the beginning of the project to show everything, or as close to everything as possible. Painting will start on Thursday. It would be great to get this one right because I know from seeing them that children love to sing this rhyme and play the game.

Baa Baa Black Sheep

character, children's books, idea, illustration, Ken Wilson-Max, kids, publishing, stories

© Ken Wilson-Max 2011

The earliest publication for the “Baa, baa black sheep” rhyme or poem was 1744. The Music that we know today was first published in the early nineteenth century. The song  makes a link between wool and sheep. Babies imitate the sounds or noises that animals make –  onomatopoeia – as part of  learning through playing.

The rhyme has had its controversial moments too but it seems unfounded. That is there is no way to prove or disprove any controversy.

Incy Wincy Spider

Activities & Play, character, children's books, From the sketchbooks, idea, illustration, Ken Wilson-Max, pre school books, publishing

The perils of rushing. I made a mistake on this latest version… boo-hoo! It’s back to the drawing board. The sun dries, not washes, silly. This is the corrected piece.