Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal

I am beyond thrilled and over the moon to discover that two of my picture books have been nominated for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal.

So many extraordinarily beautiful books on this list. The Greenaway always reminds me of why I love the picture book form and why I feel so incredibly blessed to be an author-illustrator. CONGRATULATIONS fellow artists and THANK YOU librarians! You can see all the nominations here: https://padlet.com/p0077346/muhibnhkewjh

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TV Deal for Mr Panda

PRESS RELEASE

Hachette Children’s Group announces a TV option deal for Mr Panda picture book series by Steve Antony (published under its Hodder Children’s Books imprint) with production company Magic Light Pictures.

The deal was brokered between Karen Lawler at Hachette Children’s Group, and Michael Rose at Magic Light Pictures.

Magic Light Pictures are best known for their Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler offerings including The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and  Stick Man. This year the company received their 4th Oscar® nomination for Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes

Steve Antony's Mr Panda has taken the children's book world by storm, selling over 650,000 copies since it was first published in 2015. Sold in 17 languages so far, these masterful mini dramas are a huge hit with parents and children around the world.

Magic Light Pictures are planning an animated TV series based on Mr Panda, and they will also be representing the merchandising rights during the option period. Hachette Children’s Group will be handling the stage rights.

Karen Lawler, Head of Licensed Content at HCG says: ‘Mr Panda’s deadpan humour, fuzzy appeal and iconic illustrations have made him a success the world over.  He’s the perfect character for TV development and we’re thrilled to add this project to the exciting roster of the HCG licensing team’s TV and film adaptations. We couldn’t think of a better partner than Magic Light Pictures for bringing Mr Panda to life on screen.’

Steve Antony says: ‘I am absolutely thrilled that Magic Light will be animating Mr Panda, and it’s so great to finally be able to share this hugely exciting news with Mr Panda’s loyal fan base. He is in great hands, and I very much look forward to seeing him on screen.’

Michael Rose, Joint CEO Magic Light Pictures says: ‘Magic Light are renowned for bringing literary characters to life and Steve Antony’s brilliantly witty and characterful creation is a true original.  We’re thrilled to be working with Steve and Hachette to take Mr Panda to screen and introduce him to a whole new audience.’  

US Tour: Headlining the 18th Annual ScholarShare Children's Book Festival at FairyTale Town

23 hour commute, 9,136 visitors, 6 thirty minute performances, 8 hours of signing, 5 mins on Good Day Sacramento, 4 large cups of Coke, 2 signing pens. One amazing opportunity to meet my readers at the 18th annual ScholarShare Children’s Book Festival at Fairytale Town. We sold out of Mr Pandas during my 2nd signing (sorry ‘bout that!). But it was AMAZING to sign (and totally deface) so many worn out, much-loved copies of Mr Panda*, and the brilliant Time Tested Books were very quick to produce ‘rain check’ vouchers and sticky bookplates for me to sign. Other highlights included meeting the other guest authors, eating a mighty tasty vegan Earth Burger and being shown Old Sacramento. Plus, I made two new friends (or 3, if you include my Humpty plush). Thank you Kathleen and Kathy and the rest of the FairyTale Town team for an unforgettable weekend. You took great care of this author. If only I could shake off this jet lag! x

*My Mr Panda books are published by Scholastic in the States andHachette Children's UK in the UK. 

This Summer's Swindon Libraries Summer Art Comp

Last year I held two art competitions for Swindon Libraries: Design a Doughnut and the When I Grow Up art comp. We received hundreds of amazing entries from across the borough. This summer I'm launching a brand new creative competition with Swindon Libraries - Design Mr Panda's Hat! 15 winners will receive a signed book (and possibly some extra bonus goodies!) and the overall winner will receive a class visit from yours truly.

How will you design Mr Panda's hat? Patterned? Full of doughnuts? Stickers? Pick up an entry form at your local library from this Saturday the 21st of July! This art comp is for Swindon Borough only. You can pick up a competition sheet from any one of Swindon Borough's 15 Libraries. Deadline: Sept 9th. I can't wait to see all the entries!

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Pandas, Monsters and Growing Up at Whitchurch Primary with Booklover Jo

Today I had the pleasure of visiting Whitchurch Primary School in Hertfordshire. Super school librarian and award-winning book blogger, Jo Clarke (AKA Book Lover Jo) had invited along to read some of my books to their pupils alongside pupils from Long Parrish Primary (who bussed their way to Whitchurch). It was a full house and the pupils were so prepped and engaged that they practically read along with me. I read Please Mr Panda (I can't not read this book); we journeyed through the detailed visuals of When I Grow Up; we met the Monster in the Hood; and I taught everyone how to draw Mr Panda by only using shapes and letters. They especially enjoyed listening to Monster in the Hood. Bookstore, P&G Wells, kindly attended with a piles of books. Here are some photos from the day courtesy of Jo and Dave from P&G Wells. Oh and if you're not already familiar with Jo's Clarke's book blog, I recommend you go check it out: https://bookloverjo.wordpress.com/

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Mr Panda Board Books are here!

There's just no stopping Mr Panda. As if four picture books wasn't enough, Mr Panda is now applying his dry wit to board books (board books are like picture books but smaller, thicker and biteable). Mr Panda's Colours and Mr Panda's Feelings were both released last month in the UK. I know many Americans are wondering when they'll publish Stateside (gotta love Twitter). The honest answer is: I don't know. Watch this space, I guess. For now though, you can order them from pretty much any UK bookstore. 

I had such fun drawing these board books. I hope you like them!

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The Guardian

The Guardian

Win 3 signed Mr Panda books!

To celebrate National Panda Day, I'm giving away signed copies of Please, Mr Panda, I'll Wait, Mr Panda and Thank You, Mr Panda! All you have to do is answer the following question. Mr Panda may not like doughnuts, but what do actual pandas ordinarily enjoy eating in the wild? Send your answer to enter a prize draw. The winner will be announced March 30th. Good luck!

***UPDATE***

Thank you for all your amusing entries and congratulations to the winner, Samantha (AKA Mrs Wheeler)!

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Halloween Pandas, Drawing with Nicholas Allan, Oxfordshire Awards and More Events

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

Wokingham Libraries: Mr Panda Cake and Librarian of the Year

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