My first book for children came out at the beginning of the month. It's part of a series of books I am writing for Millbrook Press in Minneapolis, and the next title will be all about colour (except, of course, it's all about color for the US market).
The first, though, is about spiky, slimy, smooth textures - and lots more touchy, feely things. It was huge fun putting together all the photos; I hadn't realised just how many photos of everyday objects and scenes I'd been taking since I started writing yarnstorm until I trawled my albums for these books. Even without any formal plan to write a series of children's books, I discovered I'd been photographing textures all along. (I think I knew I'd been doing colours for a long time.)
However, I did have to do some book-specific photography. When Danielle, who designed the book so brilliantly, asked for a new slimy picture, I cracked masses of eggs in an egg-box on a bread board on my bedroom windowsill 'studio'. Unfortunately, the whole lot slid off the board as I was coming down the stairs balancing egg boxes, board and camera. One dozen broken eggs with their shells are definitely super-slimy, and I did think of photographing the mess for the book, but the light in the stairwell isn't ideal. Shame. Simon also knows that mud feels very oooooozy when it comes up between your toes because he modelled the muddy foot page when no-one else would stand in a patch of freshly and specially created mud on a very hot, sunny, dry day in the garden.
The book has had some lovely reviews, and I have to say this feels very good. There is one here on Kirkus Reviews, and one here on Booklist Online. The School Library Journal preview was also very complimentary, as was their full review which called the book a 'visual feast' which gives the reader a 'sense of intimacy and 'will work in either science or languages arts classroom. But just browsing and enjoying the lovely photos will appeal to younsters as well'.
It's available in the UK via Amazon and even though it comes from an educational publisher, it is just as suited to bookshops, local libraries, and reading at home as it is to classrooms and teacher-led discussion.