Bird Builds a Nest...

...is the second book I've had the pleasure to create with the author and conservation biologist Martin Jenkins and the fabulous folk at Walker Books. The Squirrels' Busy Year was actually the second book of the two to be put together but arrived in the world first. For all the right reasons Bird took a little time to hatch so it has a very special place in my heart.

 
 
 As usual, I began roughing out Bird in my sketchbook. We decided from the beginning that Bird should be a little generic in appearance and not a specific type. I realise now, looking back through my sketchbooks, I always doodle a little heart besides drawings I'm happy with...

As usual, I began roughing out Bird in my sketchbook. We decided from the beginning that Bird should be a little generic in appearance and not a specific type. I realise now, looking back through my sketchbooks, I always doodle a little heart besides drawings I'm happy with...

 Colour came next! The colour palette of a book has become so important to me. I spent a long time mixing colours and collecting papers that I thought would suit the tone and feel of the story. 

Colour came next! The colour palette of a book has become so important to me. I spent a long time mixing colours and collecting papers that I thought would suit the tone and feel of the story. 

 Roughing out pages in Photoshop is always a joy! 

Roughing out pages in Photoshop is always a joy! 

 Bird begins to form a character of her own

Bird begins to form a character of her own

 I learnt so much putting this book together. It was the first time I'd had to think hard about the personality of a character and how they might react to different circumstances in a story. Here's a snippet from the last pages in the book.

I learnt so much putting this book together. It was the first time I'd had to think hard about the personality of a character and how they might react to different circumstances in a story. Here's a snippet from the last pages in the book.

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 Although spare and precise, Martin's text is just perfect for the book. The tone is instructive but calm and gently poetic. 

Although spare and precise, Martin's text is just perfect for the book. The tone is instructive but calm and gently poetic. 

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And here's a photo of  Moppet who loves birds a little too much...

 

Huge thanks to Louise and Denise at Walker Books for their advice and wisdom and to Martin for writing such wonderful words. 

Bird Builds a Nest  is available now in all sorts of countries! In the United Kingdom you can order it from places like Amazon.

Or maybe if you're fortunate enough to have one, you could support your local book shop. Here's mine!