As Charlotte Eyre reports in The Bookseller: Oxford University Press Children's has bought three young fiction titles by author and illustrator Elys Dolan.
The books will all be aimed at readers aged 7+. The first, Knighthood for Beginners, is about Dave the Dragon’s quest for knighthood with his trusty steed, a goat called Albrecht, and will be published in 2017. The second book Wizarding for Beginners will be published in 2018 and the third book will be in 2019.
Commissioning editor Clare Whitston, who bought world rights from Frances McKay at Frances McKay Illustration, said: “Brilliantly bonkers, always surprising, and never, ever boring – working with Elys is an absolute dream! I can't wait for kids to get their hands on Knighthood for Beginners and immerse themselves in the weird and wonderful world that Elys has created.”
My new book, The doughnut of Doom, is out now! But what is it about? Well, it's another ordinary day in Food Town and Nancy McNutty, peanut butter sandwich and rookie reporter, desperately needs a big break. So, when news comes in of a monster doughnut on the rampage, she's straight on the case - she knew there was something dodgy about the superfoods down at Lemon Labs! And boy, is that doughnut hungry! It's EATING everything in sight and not even the police, the ﬁre chiefs OR the military can bring it down. Whatever will President Bacon do?
If you want to ﬁnd out how they defeat the doughnut you’ll have to read the book but today I’m going to take you on a tour of Food Town, pre doughnut destruction of course.
First stop on our tour is The Peanut Press, Food Town’s premier newspaper and the workplace of intrepid reporter Nancy McNutty. It’s editor is chief is Big Cheese who’s rumoured to be a pretty awful boss.
Next stop is Micro Tan. This is the place to go if you want to looked sun-kissed for the summer, but be careful not to overdo it.
If you want some classier entertainment you might be better off visiting the Food Town Theatre. Here they put on highbrow productions such as Ham-Let and A Midsummers Ice Cream.
If night life is what you’re after then the best place to go is the Chocolate Bar. With DJ Mushroom in residence the best nights out are always found here but be careful of the Allsorts, they’re wild.
Stylist Andy Floss will give you an all new look.
Want to see some local landmarks? By far the most famous is the Empire Steak Building which offers panoramic views of Food Town, That’s when it’s not occupied by a giant monster doughnut, of course.
Many tourists visit the Food Town park to see the iconic statue of local hero General Gauda, who distinguished himself in the Cheese Board wars of 1883.
And ﬁnally it’s worth stopping by City Hall to see if you can catch a glimpse of President Bacon, now in his second term. He’s always around for a photo op.
The Doughnut of Doom by Elys Dolan is published by Nosy Crow.
You can ﬁnd out more about Elys and her work at elysdolan.com and elysdolan.tumblr.com or follow her on twitter and Facebook at @ElysDolan and facebook.com/elysdolanillustration.
On July 8th St Mary’s School had their book festival, several local authors were there to talk to the children and in the afternoon four illustrators from FMI went to educate and entertain the girls; Bee Willey, Tom Morgan Jones, Elys Dolan and Nicola Pontin, all volunteered to come to Colchester.
Click on images to enlarge
Bee had copies of her new book Dreamer, soon to be published by Otter Barrie Books. It is a wonderful, lyrical story written by Brian Moses, with a boy dreaming of a world free of pollution and trouble.
In the Art Room, Bee read Dreamer to a group of girls and then helped them create a frieze using the themes from the book. Considering the short amount of time available, it was a terrific result. Colourful and exotic animals spread across the wall, they all had a great time.
Tom, Elys and Nicola were all in a large marquee, busy with different age groups. They read from their recent books and then got the children to join in with different activities.
Tom’s group all drew portraits of Shakespeare, based on the book, The Boy at The Globe, that he has recently illustrated for Barrington Stoke.
Elys read them her best selling Steven Seagull Action Hero, and then had an observation quiz for the girls based on the book.
Nicola, read her book about the Baker Troll and then had all the children designing their own Troll characters.
A local photographer took some great shots, which appeared in all the local papers.
It was a really fun afternoon and the local Colchester bookshop, had a pop up shop, selling copies of all the new books to the children and parents at the end of the day.
My new book, Steven Seagull Action Hero, is published today!
It’s about Steven, a retired police detective, who’s called back into action for one last case when someone starts stealing sand from Beach City and leaving massive holes.
On the way to solving the mystery Steven and his ex-partner Mac (who’s a goldfish) question various suspects including Lola the Lifeguard (Hippo), Ice Cream Harry (ice cream van owning rat) and Rick the volleyball referee (great white shark).
As a FMI exclusive I’ve put together a mini-comic introducing Steven and some of Beach City’s criminal underworld:
Steven Seagull Action Hero by Elys Dolan is published by Oxford University Press. You can find out more about Elys and her work at elysdolan.com and elysdolan.tumblr.com or follow her on twitter and Facebook at @ElysDolan and facebook.com/elysdolanillustration.
In aid of Books Are My Bag an unsuspecting bookshop in Colchester called Red Lion Books let me paint all over their shop window. For my glass-based artistic debut I decided to depict a scene from my latest literary masterpiece, The Mystery of the Haunted Farm. In this book ghost stories meet agriculture to give you zombie ducks, ghost cows and a Frankenhorse.
I began the window design by realising that I’d done my preparatory drawing the wrong way round and that I would have to wing it. Here’s me filled with panic doing a speedy redesign:
As it turns out painting on glass is rather tricky. Before setting out for Colchester I found myself doing some extensive googling to figure out how exactly to do this. I discovered that there’s whole forums dedicated to shop window painting (which once again confirms to me that there’s something for everyone on the internet). It seems that the best way of painting on glass and then being able to remove it again is to mix powder paint with washing up liquid instead of water so that it’s thick enough to stick and then do multiple coats. This worked fine on my french doors at home but took a bit of getting used to because painting on vertical, slippery surfaces is frankly silly.
Once I got to this stage I thought everything was going swimmingly but that was not to last. The brown and pink paint started to flake off like a kind of colourful, soul destroying dandruff. Instead of bursting into tears, which was my initial option, I added some PVA glue which thankfully stopped the flaking. I must try it on my scalp.
From then on I started to succeed and with a constant supply of tea and fancy sprinkle covered biscuits I was done just before closing time.
I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone at Red Lion Books for letting me deface their window and being so lovely about it. I’m assured the Haunted Farm window is going to stay up until it falls off, which hopefully won’t be too soon.
Today is the publication day for my new book The Mystery of the Haunted Farm. If you like ghost stories and agriculture then this is the book for you. Farmer Greg is having a few problems down on the farm with things that go ‘BAAAAA’ in the night. So who’s he gonna to call? These ghost hunters of course:
Once at the farm the Ghost Hunters run into all kinds of strange monsters, ghosts and ghouls but there’s something odd about them. Here’s a few of those creatures as seen through the Ghost Hunters field notes:
Can the Ghost Hunters figure out where all these spooky animals are coming from and solve the mystery of the Haunted Farm? Maybe, but not without a bit of a surprise along the way.
In the process of making a picture book sometimes bits get cut out, a bit like outtakes. As a FMI exclusive I will now reveal to you the most scandalous of all the Haunted Farm outtakes, Farmer Greg in a towel!
The Christmas Rabbit, a story about the Easter Rabbit who helps Father Christmas out, and becomes the Christmas Rabbit for a day. Published by Cadeau, Germany.
Elisabeth, Elspeth, Betty and Bess, All went together to seek a bird's nest. They found a bird's nest with five eggs in. They all took one and left four in.
Once upon a time the Easter Bunny stubbed his big toe on a chair (very painful) and was unable to deliver all the Easter eggs. He was in a real tizz about it until his family (rather a large one) gathered around to help him out. But with out the Easter Bunnies magical abilities how would they be able to deliver all the Easter Eggs? - their solution was to create the first Rabbit Air Force ( the R.A.F. for short).
So this Easter if you see choccy eggs falling from the sky you know why - and you know that the Easter Bunny has stubbed his big toe again.