Scholastic has announced a global deal for a new magical picture book inspired by When I Grow Up, Tim Minchin's hit song from the acclaimed and multi-award-winning Matilda the Musical.

The book will be illustrated by Steve and will imagine life from a child’s viewpoint, with all the humour and poignancy of the song.

Tim says“I feel incredibly lucky to be able to lend my lyrics to a children’s book. I adore Steve’s work, and it’s been a thrill to watch him develop his gorgeous illustrations. I can’t wait to hold a copy in my hands.”

Steve says“I feel so lucky and honoured to be working on such an exciting and unique picture book project with Tim and the team at Scholastic. Adapting Tim’s beautiful and emotive song into a visual narrative really is a dream job and has allowed me and my inner child to indulge in a world of imagination, fun, hope and possibility.”

‘When I Grow Up’ by Tim Minchin and Steve Antony will publish in the UK in October 2017.

Posted
AuthorSteve Antony

I sometimes hear people say things like 'Libraries are the beating hearts of our communities.' but does our UK government fully understand just how true this is?

Can our government really justify the closure of literally hundreds of libraries across the UK? The Borough of Swindon, in which I live, is shockingly set to lose 10 of its 15.

 The Bookseller Magazine has been closely covering this national crisis and have kindly published my open letter to Swindon Council, which you can read here:  http://www.thebookseller.com/blogs/open-letter-swindon-council-446346

To find out more on the ongoing campaign to save Swindon Libraries please follow Save Swindon Libraries.  Thanks to the campaign, the total number of libraries to be retained has increased from one to five. What the campaign has managed to achieve so far is an absolute inspiration.

We all have the right to a quality library service and to be heard. It's not just my Borough. Visit My Library By Right for more on the nationwide campaign.

I've personally emailed each and every Swindon Councillor to direct them to my open letter and would like to add that those who've responded are very much in favour of saving our libraries - as with almost everything, it boils down to money. I am hopeful a way will be found to keep as many of our libraries open as possible.

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AuthorSteve Antony
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The Bologna Children's Book Fair runs for four days. On the fourth day, publishers begin packing up for the journey home, but they don't always take all their books with them. This is something my Bologna buddy and fellow author-illustrator, Elena Arévalo Melville, discovered, so we challenged ourselves to collect as many books as possible to donate to IBBY. IBBY stands for International Board on Books for Young People and is a non-profit organisation that represents an international network of people from 75 countries; at the fair their Italian branch had a sign asking for book donations for refugee children. 

Elena and I went on a mission to collect as many donations as possible. Hachette leant us a red trolley, and off we went. We hashtagged our spree with #HelpIbbyBCBF16. It was a race against time; we wanted to collect as many books as possible before the publishers all packed up; and we had a flight to catch, too.

Two or so hours later, we had 100's of books for IBBY. IBBY were delighted. It was magical moment. It felt empowering. In our own little way, we helped. 

We'd like to thank all the publishers who kindly donated so, so many books!

I had intended to post this blog shortly after the Fair, which took place in April, but didn't due to one reason or another. This morning, I found it sitting in my 'drafts', so here it is... Below are some photos of the event. For a much better blog post about our spree, which includes more details, please visit Elena's blog HERE.

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Posted
AuthorSteve Antony
TagsIBBY

I've fallen slightly behind with my blog, so here some tweets from the past few weeks which feature...

- my day at the Oxfordshire Awards Ceremony (where Please Mr Panda won Best Picture Book)

- drawing The World's Longest Landscape with Nicholas Allan at Dulwich Gallery for The Big Draw

- Halloween Mr Pandas!

- Thame Lit Fest, Gloucester Waterstones Event, and more

Posted
AuthorSteve Antony

Last week I launched my 9th author-illustrator picture book, The Queen's Present, at Waterstones' flagship in Piccadilly, London, and in the process raised enough cash for literacy charity, Beanstalk, to support four pupils for a whole year. It was a festive affair. There was mulled wine, mince pies and a fab turnout of lovely people, including friends, family, my publisher and agent, Beanstalk volunteers, fellow authors, booksellers, librarians and several curious customers. The icing on the cake was a delicious Christmas bake, by Great British Bake Off winner, Frances Quinn. It was very nice of Waterstones to allow us to take over the children's department. THANK YOU, Waterstones; and thank you to all who donated! Below are some tweets from the event. 

Join me at Waterstones, Piccadilly on the 8th Nov for wine and mince pies to celebrate The Queen’s Present. 

Exclusive, limited edition prints will be available to purchase on the night for £10, with the proceeds going to children’s literacy charity, Beanstalk.

For details, press HERE!
 

London's Kew Gardens is beautiful. What a fantastic setting to hold a story-time event. A couple of weekends ago a whole host of authors held events at Write on Kew, including me. There, I read the newly-released The Queen's Present for the very first time to an audience. Afterwards, I took a leisurely stroll around the magical gardens. Below are some pics from the day, along with a video all about Kew Gardens. 

A couple of weeks ago I visited Wokingham Libraries for a day of events. I think it was my fourth, or maybe fifth, visit to the Wokingham Library. In fact, I'm pretty sure that Elizabeth (pictured below) was the first librarian to contact me about holding a library event, way back in the summer of 2014, not too long after the release of my first picture book: The Queen's Hat. Elizabeth recently won the Public Librarian of the Year Award from CILIP (Chartered Institution of Library and Information Professionals) for all of her hard work and boundless enthusiasm!

The highlight of the day was the MR PANDA CAKE, baked by Wokingham Librarian, Claire Groves (AKA Chocolatey's Cakes). It was delicious. Slicing it felt a bit wrong, but it tasted so good. Just check out the rainbow coloured layers inside Mr Panda (below).

It was also nice to catch up with Cathy MacLennan and to visit Woodley's indie children's bookstore, Chapter One

Claire and I visited several schools in the area, and the last story-time event of the day took place in Wokingham Library, where I met some little (and big) fans of The Queen's Hat and Mr Panda books.

All in all, another fun day with Wokingham Libraries!

Me, Librarian of the Year, Elizabeth McDonald and fellow author-illustrator,  Cathy MacLennan

Me, Librarian of the Year, Elizabeth McDonald and fellow author-illustrator,  Cathy MacLennan

Photos by Cathy MacLennan.

Photos by Cathy MacLennan.

Chapter One Children's Bookshop

Chapter One Children's Bookshop

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AuthorSteve Antony
Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Tower

Last week I visited around 20 bookstores from Gloucester to Glasgow for Books Are My Bag, a nationwide campaign to celebrate bookshops. It was a whistle-stop tour incorporated into a weeklong road-trip to a close friend's wedding in Gretna Green. Each visit was somewhat spontaneous. Every time we took a pitstop, we sought out the nearest bookstores. Most of the stores we visited were Waterstones and WHSmiths, but we did stumble across the award-winning Booka Bookshop in Oswestry - a shop conveniently located near some friends - and Blackwell's and Forbidden Planet in Edinburgh. 

It was great to meet and chat to so many booksellers, including fellow twitterers. I don't think I've ever visited so many bookstores in one week. From what I can recall, we swung by Gloucester, Worcester, Telford, Wolverhampton, Oswestry, Chester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Blackpool and Stoke-on-Trent. It was a little crazy, I admit, but it was so fun! The only problem now... I need a new bookshelf. 

Angel of the North is in The Queen's Handbag

Angel of the North is in The Queen's Handbag

Waterstones, Blackpool

Waterstones, Blackpool

The biggest bookstore in Scotland - Waterstones, Glasgow

The biggest bookstore in Scotland - Waterstones, Glasgow

Waterstones - though I can't quite remember which town this was in!

Waterstones - though I can't quite remember which town this was in!

Posted
AuthorSteve Antony

Cheltenham Festival was such fun. My event was based on Monster in the Hood and Betty Goes Bananas. The audience were brilliant and so were their Monster drawings! Below are some pictures and a couple of tweets from the day. 

Posted
AuthorSteve Antony