This Summer's Swindon Library Art Comp is Out of This World!

Celebrating 50 years since the first moon landing, this years Summer Reading Challenge will be blasting off in all Swindon’s libraries from Saturday (13 July), along with an out of this world art competition, open to all ages! Design your own planet!

I visited Crowdys Hill School yesterday to launch the art competition, in which you get to design and name your own planet! Their will be 14 winners, one from each library, and each will win a signed copy of my latest picture book, Amazing. I will also pick an overall win, who will win a class visit from yours truly.

Last years art comp was so much fun - design Mr Panda’s Hat - and we received over 500 colourful entries. The year before we had the Design a Doughnut comp which was great fun too.

You can take part in the Summer Reading Challenge and the Design your own Planet competition by visiting your local Swindon library where you can pick up a competition sheet. Deadline: Sept 9th.

Pictured with Miss Little’s Class, along with Outreach Librarian, Debbie.

Pictured with Miss Little’s Class, along with Outreach Librarian, Debbie.

Last year’s entries

Last year’s entries

Bournville Primary School Create Giant Queen's Handbag Map

Wow! Bournville Primary School is Weston-super-Mare created a giant map, based on all the landmarks featured in my picture book, The Queen’s Handbag. They had also reimagined the tale by coming up with their very own imaginative stories. While there, I held 2 class events and read several of my books. Below, I am showing a class how to draw Zibbo, the dragon from my book Amazing.

This is such a great example of how teachers can create fun activities and lessons, based on books.

Mr Matravars, thank you for inviting me to see all of the amazing things your pupils created!

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Swiss Unite Illustrators in an Alphabet at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2019 (Full Alphabet and Illustrator Quotes)

Switzerland was the host country of this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and they sure know how to put on a show! For their brilliant “A Swiss ABC” exhibition 26 artists each illustrated a letter of the alphabet. The show married words and images in unique, clever, though-provoking and amusing ways. It perfectly exemplified what makes picture books such powerful tools of communication and how words and images can effectively be put together.

The 26 words used in the exhibition come from all four of the Swiss national languages: Romansh, Italian, French and German. This exhibition was a major highlight for me and included my favourite image of the fair. Here are all the letters. Below each letter is a quote from each of the super talented illustrators and a link to their website. If there is no link it’s because I was unable to find a website, but please tweet me at @MrSteveAntony if you do find one. Enjoy!

Shadows that can be interpreted in different ways fascinate me - or an object that, seen from an unfamiliar perspective, suddenly becomes something else.
— Liliane Steiner
I address children - the people who will shape tomorrow’s world.
— Catherine Louis
You can compare illustrating with the process of cooking. You mix, you try things out, you see if the colours work together, if they look appetising - and you look forward to the result.
— Haydé
Illustrate - the word comes from the Latin ‘illustrare’ and means ‘illuminate’, ‘light up’, ‘bring to light’. And: ‘celebrate’!
— Claudia de Weck
I would like to call up an emotion in the reader - to each his or her own, and it doesn’t matter if it’s positive or negative.
— Adrienne Barman
Often there are discrepancies between what’s in your head and what your hand actually does on the paper. In these discrepancies, which are not under our control, lie the surprises - gifts for the imagination.
— It's Raining Elephants
My recurrent motif is the journey. Through changing landscapes and city scenes, in the imagination, into a dream world- or even toward myself.
— Vera Eggermann
With my kind of illustration, I would like to penetrate to the unconscious places of the soul, to nurture and to mirror them.
— Lika Nüssli
What could be more beautiful than reading a story aloud to children in the evening? And, touched by the story, to be moved to laughter or tears?
— Marcus Pfister
Books were like stuffed animals to me. They were companions.
— Fanny Dreyer
Drawing is a place for me. A place where I can be utterly myself, in peace, freed from reality. And yet still belong to the world - without lying, cheating or obeying.
— Emmanuelle Houdart
I am inspired by circumstances, encounters, death, and situational poetry.
— Ronald Curchod
I think that nature is complex for children who attempt to understand it. I try to make things clear to them.
— Anne Crausaz
I would like to move people to look at pictures precisely. To let themselves be pulled into them. Pictures should create joy by granting the viewer a new vision of a story.
— Käthi Bhend
Through the medium of illustrations I discovered just how broad the narrative spectrum is.
— Anna Sommer
Illustration can open up words, can send the spirit on a journey to places you never would have thought to go.
— Paloma Canonica
Drawing is part of my life. They develop together.
— Kathrin Schärer
It is a gift to be able to express myself through creating works that touch other people.
— Petra Rappo
Inspiration arises from exploring , going even further, inventing a universe for yourself, playing. Illustration can anything from the moment you endow it with significance.
— Albertine
If you open yourself up to ‘looking’ and ‘experiencing’, many spontaneous ideas offer themselves up yo you. I find ideas in dreams, early in the morning between sleeping and waking, and, some days, even while I’m jogging. I’m ‘tuned in’ day and night.
— Jürg Obrist
Imagination has to find you at your work. It is never a bolt of lightening, more a connection and a merging of points that surround a topic or a fixed idea in your mind. It is a quest.
— Francesca Sanna
The direction of reading doesn’t only go from left to right, but also into the depths.
— Hannes Binder
I seek a greedy pleasure for the eye. To create a drawing that is immediately ‘inhaled’ by the viewer as she beholds it.
— Tom Tirabosco
I like getting the kind of ‘assignment’ that places me in front of a riddle that would like me to solve it.
— Pia Valär
In my drawings I seek a balance between poetry, humour, movement and meaning.
— Mirjana Farkas
Pictures speak a universal language that every person can read, translate for him or herself and understand. Good pictures ask questions that every person can ask him or herself, and can approach.
— Paolo Friz
More info here:

More info here:

The 'AMAZING' Blog Tour: Incidental Inclusiveness, School Libraries, Finding Ideas & More

An Amazing launch at Waterstones flagship in PICCADILLY.

An Amazing launch at Waterstones flagship in PICCADILLY.

WOW! ‘Amazing’ is OUT and what a whirlwind the past few months have been, not least because I got married and went on a monthlong honeymoon…

I am so grateful for all the support and love this book has received. I’ve received some really, really touching emails and letters.

The book launch at Waterstones Flagship was PERFECT. The best company, the best cake (below) I’ve ever seen bar my wedding cake (both by Leandra Lucas), and we raised £500 for MyAFK: a small, London charity making a big difference to the lives of young adults with disabilities. A glowing review in the Sunday Times (thanks Nicolette Jones), a window display in an indie bookstore (thanks Mr B’s Emporium), an event with HRH The Duchess of Cornwall (the book’s first recipient on launch day, which was purely incidental) and so, so much more, including a bespoke tie and tie pin from my lovely publisher (thank you Emma and Alison).

Below are the links to all the blogs that took part in the Amazing blog tour (thank you bloggers). Below them is a link to my book launch speech on diverse books.

FOYLES - Where do ideas come from?

BOOKTRUST - The Book They Said Wouldn’t Sell

FEDERATION OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS - Favourite Childhood Reads


LIBRARY MICE - How to Draw Zibbo

PICTURE BOOKS BLOGGER - Steve’s Favourite Literary Dragons


ACORN BOOKS - A Day in the Life of Steve Antony

THE READER TEACHER - Why Every Child Deserves a Great School Library


BOOK LOVER JO - The Making of Amazing

Photo: Terry Basset

Photo: Terry Basset

Amazing Giveaway


I am giving away 20 signed copies of’ ’Amazing’ to the first 20 people to answer the following question:

Who is amazing in your life?

I can only reply to the FIRST TWENTY people that respond to this giveaway. If you are one of the lucky 20, you will hear back from me before the end of January.

As you may already know, ‘Amazing’ is a book about a boy and his pet dragon and how they live, learn and play together - they are both amazing.

This giveaway is worldwide. ‘Amazing’ is due to publish first in the UK on Jan 24th and will be available in all good bookshops both online and off. This giveaway will end Jan 20th.

Below is the form you need to fill in to be in for a chance of receiving a signed copy of ‘Amazing’.

I, Steve Antony, will use the information you provide in the form below ONLY to get in touch with the first twenty people to respond to this giveaway.

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:

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Drawing Europe Together on German Radio

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If you understand German, Friedbert Meurer at Deutschlandfunk radio has run a piece on Drawing Europe Together (with bits of English), talking with me, Axel Scheffler, Neal Layton and Patrick George. Listen to it here: Thanks to Sarah McIntyre for posting this link on Twitter.

Waterstones, Piccadilly housed an exhibition of all the art from the book.

Stars on Canvas Charity Auction

Stars on Canvas sponsored by The Crown Estate, is a charity art exhibition and auction of original pieces created by well known names from the worlds of art, illustration, sport, music and popular culture.

Stars on Canvas has been held every two years since 2008 and has raised more than £310,000 for national charity, Willow, in the ten years since its inception.

The online auction will go live on Thursday 15th November and will finish on Sunday 25th November. All canvases will start at 99p so happy bidding! The collection will also be shown at a public exhibition in London on 22-24th November. Venue to be announced.

There are LOTS to bid on! Below are canvases by me, Ellie Goulding, Frank Bruno, Collet Laughton, Deborah Batt, Axel Scheffler, Kim Haskins, Day-Z, Darcey Bussel and Elena Arevalo Melville.

For more info, visit

TV Deal for Mr Panda


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.’  

Drawing Europe Together

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Hi. I added an illustration (above) to this book (below).

”Are we still 'United in Diversity? Forty-five artists from across Europe share their powerful illustrations of the European Union's shared past and our unsure future. From Brexit bees to wall-jumping bulls, Drawing Europe Together is a unique collection portraying the European community . . . with or without Britain.

This is a passionate and heartfelt exploration of Europe and what it means to many of the people who live and work within its borders. The book brings together forty-five renowned illustrators who, through their drawings and accompanying words, share their vision of Europe in this beautiful and timely collection, with a foreword by the British Book Awards Illustrator of the Year 2018, Axel Scheffler.”

Out Nov 1st.