Hay Highlights- Picture Book Paradise!

We love a good picture book at NSTBA and so I was delighted to be able to go to several sessions, listening to authors and illustrators. Each session was fun and varied...and FULL of enthusiastic, excited children!

Salvatore Rubbino was full of enthusiasm as he encouraged everyone to look carefully at the pictures in his wonderful books, A Walk in London and A Walk in Paris.

"Drawing doesn't happen all at once- it's a journey!" he told us. If something doesn't work out right in one drawing, then you have learned something for your next one. Drawing is "just a series of shapes with layers of detail on top..."

He demonstrated how to draw various pictures from his books- a pelican, a marching soldier and the Mona Lisa! The children in the audience were delighted with their success. 

On Monday, Viviane Schwarz read her new book 'How To Find Gold' to a captivated audience. This gently funny, beautifully illustrated story about Anna and Crocodile is very endearing and perfect for little ones! 

When asked whether it was a coincidence that Anna, the little girl in the story looked like her, Viviane laughed and declared all illustrators draw themselves as they spend so much time alone! 

Later that day, Emma Yarlett let Nibbles loose! She read the book, following mysterious footprints across the stage to follow his movements! The children were completely absorbed.

The children then made Nibbles headbands; I'm not sure who enjoyed it most- the children or their parents!

My final picture book treat was Simon James! He was very funny and told us all about his new book, Rex, a really heart-warming story about relationships- and dinosaurs!

It's hard to believe it's 25 years since 'Dear Greenpeace' was published! Simon told us all about how he started making books many years ago when he created WIR (Worm International Rescue) after saving a worm from a puddle! Showing us the little tin he kept his writing and drawings in from when he was a child, he said, "One of the best things you can do is keep asking questions!"

Picture books are amazing- and so are their creators!