Monday, 20 July 2015

Marmaduke Duck and The Wide Blue Seas- Q & A with Sarah Davis and a Giveaway







Sarah Davis is the talented illustrator who along with author Juliette MacIver created the Children's choice award book finalist Marmaduke Duck and The Wild Blue Seas. The Booksellers NZ reviewer, Angela Oliver said,
 ‘This is a story of courage and friendship, of the power of jam and home comforts over the allure of gold. I hope to see more of this loveable, unlikely duo, now that they’ve both had a taste of adventure, let’s hope it leads to more!’ 

We asked Sarah about how she creates her captivating illustrations

1.       How do you approach illustrating a now-beloved character like Marmaduke Duck?

When you've spent a while illustrating the same character over a few books, you get to know them pretty well, like an old friend. It's easy for me to imagine Marmaduke in action now, which makes it easier to draw him. When I did the first Marmaduke pictures, I hadn't illustrated many picture books or even really done much drawing, so it felt a little stiff and awkward to begin with, but now he kind of leaps off the pencil and takes on a life of his own. To start with I looked at lots of photos or ducks, and practiced drawing realistic ducks, then I put all of that away and let Marmaduke take shape in my imagination. 

2.        You and Juliette have worked on a lot of books together now, do you work differently when you are working with Juliette thanks to this bond?

Yes! Juliette and I are really good friends now, and she's fantastic. I'm totally in awe of what she can do with rhyme and rhythm and words. We both have the same kind of weird humour, so I think we make a good team. I chat about the stories with Juliette far more than I do with any other author - usually I just get the text and go to town on it, and don't have a lot of direct contact with the author, and there's something that needs to be worked out, we communicate through the publishers. But Juliette and I will often chat about the story. Usually it's me complaining that she puts too many animals in her books! I mean... "52 marmosets leaped on board"?!? Seriously!!? Do you know how long it takes to draw 52 marmosets? Much longer than in takes to write the words "52 marmosets", that's for sure. I suggested a text change for this one. I said, "Instead of '52 marmosets leaped on board', how about we change it to '1000 marmosets, 999 of whom had awesome Cloaks of Invisibility leaped on board'!" But for some reason, they didn't go for it. Then Juliette wrote a book especially to annoy me. It's called "One Goose", and it went something like this:
One goose.
Two moose.
Four snails.
Eight Whales.
Sixteen Baboons.
Thirty-two Racoons... etc etc, all the way up to a billion billion amoebas. And she said I had a week to illustrate it. She's so mean. 

3.       How did you tailor the illustration for this book to the age-group it reaches?

I actually don't consciously tailor the pictures for any particular age group. I just try to stay true to the mood and feeling of the story, and to draw pictures that make ME laugh. If I'm sitting at my drawing table sniggering and chortling at a particular funny scene of character that I'm drawing, I know I'm heading in the right direction. Maybe I'm just a big kid still.

4.       Who have you dedicated this book to, and why?

I dedicated it to my daughter Nikau (AKA my Monkey Pirate Fashion consultant) who came up with the idea for the skull and crossbones on Captain Fang's hat, and my daughter Zoe, who is one of the marmosets in the book. She's the little crazy blonde one with the eye patch - see if you can spot her! 

5.       What do you find yourself drawing most frequently when you aren’t working? 

Usually strange, dreammlike pictures of weird creatures.

6.       Can you recommend any books for children who love this book?

Anything by Juliette, of course! Also anything by Bill Peet - I loved his books when I was a kid. If you like hilarious rhyming stories with great characters, look no further. 


For reviews of Marmaduke Duck and the Wide Blue Sea, check out the Booksellers NZ review here: https://booksellersnz.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/book-review-marmaduke-duck-on-the-wide-blue-seas-by-juliette-mciver-and-sarah-davis/
  


To Win a copy of Marmaduke Duck on the Wild Blue Seas, just comment below with the name of your favourite NZ picture book

 Competition available to NZ and AUS residents only, competition drawn 25th July 2015. 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

NZ Book Awards For Children and Young Adults Review- Marmaduke Duck on the Wide Blue Seas






Juliette MacIver has been voted for by hundreds of kids all over New Zealand as a finalist in the Children’s Choice Picture Book  category, for her and Sarah Davis’s picture book Marmaduke Duck and the Wide Blue Sea.  The Booksellers NZ reviewer, Angela Oliver said, ‘This is a story of courage and friendship, of the power of jam and home comforts over the allure of gold. I hope to see more of this loveable, unlikely duo, now that they’ve both had a taste of adventure, let’s hope it leads to more!’

Juliette MacIver is a mother of four, and a writer of many more. Her first published book was all about Marmaduke Duck, and we wondered what had inspired this welcome return to Marmaduke’s land.
1.    Marmaduke the reckless duck is back again with this lovely story. What inspired Marmaduke as a character broadly, and where did the idea of this chapter of his story come from?
The character of Marmaduke Duck evolved from the inspiring action of eating marmalade on toast for breakfast one morning, a pastime I strongly recommend. I was musing on the pleasingly peculiar word “marmalade” and the pleasingly assonant name “Marmaduke,” and I wondered if Marmaduke might make a good character for a story. I loved the rhythm of the word, and it clearly needed a one-beat animal name to go with it – perhaps Marmaduke Pig? Or Marmaduke Sheep? Or Marmaduke Duck! Yes yes! Marmaduke Duck and the Marmalade Jam, I thought. Now. What kind of story will this be?
Marmaduke emerged as a dreamy, pre-occupied kind of duck, absorbed in his happy world of marmalade-making. By the time I came to write the third story, he had had an exciting marmalade-centric adventure with Bernadette Bear. Now I needed to progress his story into something even more adventurous that would follow on from the last story, but still keeping marmalade jam as a central theme of the story. Tricky! I decided Marmaduke should become restless in his happy domestic life, and venture off to sea, and encounter monkey pirates on the wide blue seas. To be saved, of course, by his good friend Bernadette, with the help of . . . marmalade jam!

2.    Tell us a bit about the journey from manuscript to published work. What was the biggest challenge you faced in writing this work?
The biggest challenge was incorporating marmalade jam as a main feature of the story, in a way that wasn’t just really silly. To exemplify: my first attempt involved Marmaduke Duck saving the world from starvation, with marmalade jam. Now, that really was silly…!

3.    How did you tailor this book to the age-group it reaches?
A picture book story has to make sense to small children, and feature things from their own experience: monkeys, old wooden galleons, pirates, for example, things that children encounter most days on their way to kindy or school. Or, at least, things that are familiar from storybooks! And adventure at sea is a popular theme among children, and greatly appealing to me too. I like to write to satisfy myself! J

4.      Who have you dedicated this book to, and why?
To my wonderful parents. The first book I dedicated to my husband, the second to my children, so it followed that the third should be for my parents.

5.      Can you recommend any books for children/young adults who love this book?
I have another sea-faring tale, released this year, called Yak and Gnu (https://booksellersnz.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/book-review-yak-and-gnu-by-juliette-maciver-illustrated-by-cat-chapman/) , and another one that involves a bit of adventure, called Tom and the Dragon. There must be loads from other authors: me let think . . . Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs, by Giles Andrae, for one, and oh! The Highway Rat, by Julia Donaldson, for fabulous rhyme and adventure. And I have just reserved from the library (but have yet to read) Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken, by Kate Di Camillo, which looks very good. It is a longer form picture book with chapters.

6.      What is your favourite thing to do when you aren’t reading or writing, and why?
Dancing. I looooove dancing. Also playing soccer. I loooooooove soccer.


If you want to know more about Juliette, check out her website here: http://www.juliettemaciverauthor.com/my-books.html
 
For reviews of Marmaduke Duck and the Wide Blue Sea, check out the Booksellers NZ review here: https://booksellersnz.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/book-review-marmaduke-duck-on-the-wide-blue-seas-by-juliette-mciver-and-sarah-davis/

  
 Mums Review-
I must admit some bias here as Marmaduke Duck, a Duck with pluck is one of our favourite series of children's book and my son adored this new adventure. And whats not to love, an adventurous Duck and his friend Bernadette Bear, Pirate Monkeys and of course marmalade jam. The illustrations by Sarah Davis are full of detail and my older child enjoyed pointing out some of sub story portrayed by illustrations of Bernadette Bear while my younger child just liked to sit and listen. Marmaduke Duck on the Wild Blue Seas like it predecessors is just lovely to read, the rhymes are fluid and fun. We have been reading this since last Christmas and the children ( and adults) still find it a fun read, pirates of course still very much a favourite subject with 3 and 5 year olds!   


To win a copy of Marmaduke Duck on the Wide Blue Seas or any of the other books I have reviwed enter below. 

This is day ten of the blog tour featuring each of the finalists in the Children’s Choice category of the awards, and the final picture book. Tomorrow’s feature will be our first junior fiction book, Dragon Knight: Fire , by Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley which will be covered on My Best Friends are Books, Zac McCallum's blog. www.bestfriendsarebooks.com
If you have missed the other posts so far, please check out http://booksellers.co.nz/awards/new-zealand-childrens-book-awards/childrens-choice/blog-tour to find links for all of the interviews and giveaways featured already in the month-long blog tour for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.


http://www.booksellers.co.nz/vote-childrens-choice



Monday, 6 July 2015

NZ Book Awards For Children and Young Adults Review - Doggy Ditties from A to Z

http://www.booksellers.co.nz/vote-childrens-choice



Author- Jo van Dam


Jo van Dam’s book was voted into the Children’s Choice finalist list from a group of over 70 picture books! Illustrated by Myles Lawford, Doggy Ditties from A to Z, the Booksellers NZ reviewer Rachel Moore said, ‘This book has the key ingredients for success – lovely big illustrations, lots of language play, and lots and lots of dogs!’
Jo is a librarian at a primary school, and says that sharing her passion and enthusiasm for books and words, is the best job in the world. This is her first book, so we were curious about the journey it took from manuscript to published work.
1.        As an author, you must have a lot of ideas floating around. How did you decide to write this book in particular?
I started writing little doggy rhymes for my own children when they were young. I have always had dogs of various breeds and love the fact they all have different personalities, so it was fun to think of each breed and have a play with words to describe them. I think I must have had about ten rhymes but then my children got older, and I stopped writing. I came across the folder (and I mean an actual cardboard folder with bits of paper rather than on a computer!), a few years ago and my children encouraged me to carry on going through the alphabet. The idea is that children can learn the alphabet, learn the names and characters of different breeds of dog and enjoy the different rhymes and rhythms. The book can also be used in the classroom as a teaching tool as each rhyme contains a couple of poetic devices such as rhyme, alliteration, onomatopoeia, consonance etc., but most importantly, it is a bit of fun!
2.       Tell us a bit about the journey from manuscript to published work. What was the biggest challenge you faced in publishing this book?
I was very lucky. I sent the manuscript to Scholastic NZ and something about it must have appealed to them, so after some consultation with their International colleagues they decided to go ahead. They then had a competition within their team of illustrators who were interested, and chose the very talented Myles Lawford to create the fabulous pictures. I think he has captured each breed of dog and personality perfectly.
I really was very lucky that my first book was accepted by the first publisher I sent it to. The whole process from me sending in the manuscript, to publication day took nearly two years, which seemed like forever!  I think that the biggest challenge, or fear for me was that people wouldn't 'get' it, but the book has had some lovely reviews which was a huge relief! It is a light-hearted book with silly words and dogs that smell, pink poodles with boyfriends, dribble, and fleas... It is aimed at children, which makes reaching the final in the Children's choice category, chosen by children, so very special.
3.       How did you tailor this book to the age-group it reaches?
I work with Primary school children and have been reading stories to them for many years now, so I hope I know the things that make them enjoy a book or not. There are some rhymes in there for younger children, and some that the older ones appreciate; hopefully something for everyone. Some cute, some a wee bit rude, some smelly, some clever, some slobbery and one dog that is just plain weird!
4.       Who have you dedicated this book to, and why?
I have dedicated the book to my husband and two children, because they were nothing but supportive. They told me if they didn't think a rhyme worked and laughed when they thought it did. They were my toughest critics but also the most helpful.
5.       Can you recommend any books for children/young adults who love this book?
Walter the Farting Dog, by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray.
6.       What is your favourite thing to do when you aren’t reading or writing, and why?
I love cooking, because food is yummy and producing a plate of something for others to enjoy gives me great pleasure. I love walking and dancing to keep fit and I love spending time with friends and family. So my perfect day would be going for a lovely long walk, cooking dinner for my friends and family and ending the evening with everyone dancing!
Illustrator- Myles Lawford

Myles Lawford answers our questions about illustrating Doggy Ditties from A to Z
Doggy Ditties from A to Z, by Jo van Dam and Myles Lawford,  was voted into the Children’s Choice finalist list from a group of over 70 picture books. According to the Booksellers NZ review, Doggy Ditties from A to Z, ‘Has t
he key ingredients for success – lovely big illustrations, lots of language play, and lots and lots of dogs!’
The 12 Days of Kiwi Christmas was Myles’ first book for Scholastic NZ, published in October 2013; he has since gone on to illustrate a further seven picture book titles. We asked him how he went about illustrating this book, and what he used to draw as his “party trick” at school.
1.      What was your approach to illustrating each of these books?
For Doggy Ditties the work started with a lot of research. I wanted to make sure that each dog was illustrated correctly as I know that there would be a lot of dog lovers out there that would spot things that weren’t correct. I tried to keep the look soft and light to reflect the fur coats of the dogs.
2.      Tell us a bit about the journey from storyboards to published work for each book. What was the biggest challenge you faced in illustrating each of the books?
I think the biggest challenge with Doggy Ditties was to push the expressions of the dogs, without losing the realistic look. At the early stages of the design process, I looked into creating caricatures of the dogs and presenting a more cartoonish look but that was rejected in favour of the realistic approach.
3.      How closely were you able to collaborate with the writers? Do you prefer to work this way?
Actually I don’t talk to the writers at all during the entire process, except at the end, when the book has been printed. Thankfully I haven’t had any disappointed writers yet. Fingers crossed. We try and split the two processes of writing and illustrating so that one doesn’t influence the other.
4.      What was your favourite thing to draw when you were at primary school – did you have a “party trick”?
When I was at primary school I spent most of my time drawing for my classmates, at a cost. I charged people for helping them illustrate their homework and projects. Nothing too outrageous, an ice cream here or a steak and cheese pie.
5.      Can you recommend any books for children/young adults who love this book?
Not really: wait around for the sequels?!
 I can tell you what books that have influenced me in the past. I loved reading Asterisk, Tintin, mainly any books that were heavily illustrated, and this hasn’t stopped even as I got older. Now I enjoy reading graphic novels, fantasy and science fiction, the more art in the book the better.

6.      What is your favourite thing to do when you aren’t reading or illustrating, and why?
I’m a big fan of computer games, the conceptual design in gaming was always something I wanted to do, whether it being designing new characters, races, architecture or environments. I find myself sketching ideas all the time due to something I might of seen in a game or from a movie. I am a child at heart, I’m not ready to grow up just yet.

A Mum's Review-

And A-Z with a difference, brimming with doggies, rhymes and humor that children and adults will enjoy.

My initial thoughts when looking through Doggy Ditties from A to Z is that while my three year old loves dogs that the book was probably too long for her to sit through, after having to read it cover to cover twice over I would have to say I was wrong! She was completely in awed as were most of the children I read this too, the different dogs and rhymes kept them all giggling away and there was no skipping dogs let me tell you! I really liked the way the author has used different types of rhymes in the book to introduce children to the different ways language can be used even if it meant a few tripped words by the adult reading. The kids quickly had their favourite doggie rhyme and quickly started to notice the way each letter tied into the corresponding rhyme as well. This has quickly become a definite favourite of both Miss 3 and Mr 5!

This is day eight of the blog tour featuring each of the finalists in the Children’s Choice category of the awards. Tomorrow’s feature will be our fourth picture book, The Anzac Puppy, by Peter Millett and Trish Bowles, which will be covered on Booknotes Unbound, the NZ Book Council blog. http://booknotes-unbound.org.nz/


Doggy Ditties from A to Z
Jo van Dam & Myles Lawford
Scholastic NZ
9781775431886
PB $19.00
Target ages 3 to 7 years

___
If you want to know more about Jo van Dam, check out her website here:
For reviews of Doggie Ditties from A to Z, check out the Booksellers NZ review here:  https://booksellersnz.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/book-review-doggy-ditties-from-a-to-z-by-jo-van-dam-illustrated-by-myles-lawford/

For teachers notes for Doggy Ditties from A to Z: http://scholastic.co.nz/Resources/Notes/Doggy%20Ditties%20from%20A%20to%20Z.pdf  

For reviews of Doggy Ditties from A to Z, check out the Booksellers NZ review here:  https://booksellersnz.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/book-review-doggy-ditties-from-a-to-z-by-jo-van-dam-illustrated-by-myles-lawford/
 

And to win a copy of Doggy Ditties from A to Z or a copy of I AM NOT A WORM please enter the giveaway below....



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...