Entries by Neil McGrory

Zoe Ingram

Zoe Ingram is an internationally acclaimed artist and illustrator who loves her job painting pictures for a living. Many of her artworks have been used on fabric, stationery, greeting cards and home décor collections. “Garden Stew” is Zoe’s first children’s picture book.

Illustrating ‘Hush Say the Stars’

When first asked if I would like to illustrate Hush Say the Stars, penned by Margaret Spurling, I really didn’t need to know any more. I have long been a fan of Margaret Spurling’s writing so I took it as quite an honour. To then discover it was set on a farm, resembling the tones of a classic lullaby, it couldn’t be more perfect.

2018 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards

Little Book Press is proud to announce that three of our titles have been listed as Notable Books in the 2018 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA), Book of the Year Awards. The Notable titles in the Early Childhood category include: Busy Little Creatures by Little Book Press and Fiona Bowden Jump and Shout! by […]

Raising Literacy Australia’s publishing imprint, Little Book Press, is pleased to announce that two of its picture books have been shortlisted for the highly regarded Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards 2017.

What it Means to be an Illustrator

Whenever I’m asked what I do for a living I’ll say, “I’m an illustrator.” There’s inevitably a pause and a quizzical look and so I’ll go on to elaborate further. This usually clarifies things, but not always. Illustrating is one of those professions that often slips under the radar. And although everyone has read a children’s book, we don’t often consider by whom or how they are created.

To Need or Not to Need an Editor

Whenever I meet someone for the first time, invariably the question gets asked, ‘What do you do?’ When I tell them that I’m an editor, the first response is usually, ‘Oh, I’m going to write a book one day.’ Following on the heels of this is, ‘You must be really good at spelling.’ Some people will even go so far as to act surprised this job even exists anymore, considering the advent of spellcheck software. My reply is that editors are more than human spellcheckers.

Editing can be broken down into four levels, with each level building upon the other — like a house of cards. The strength of the card house relies on the sturdiness of each level, beginning from the first level up. When a manuscript is sent to an editor, the following steps will usually be taken:

Life as an Illustrator

As an illustrator, I occasionally get to draw pictures. Like many jobs, much of my time is spent answering or ignoring emails, making cups of tea, washing up the tea cups, then coming back to those emails I initially ignored.

When I do sit down at my desk with a pencil in my hand, I feel like I’m home. It’s like I’m ten years old again, doodling and scribbling to see what happens. I begin most books by sketching character ideas. After spending most of my life using dark, slightly blunt pencils, I now prefer to use very light 2H pencils. This allows me to slowly build up a drawing, using lots of feathery, scribbled lines until a face starts to take shape. I draw all of my roughs like this, until they are ready to trace, ink and paint into the final illustrations.