Hello dear readers................... is it still too early to mention Christmasy things?! I imagine it is for some, but not early enough for others. Well, I'm going to risk going in at the deep end, by showing you my latest book, published in October of this year. The book ends with the pop-up you see above, quite a dramatic ending don't you think?
Maybe I should start at the beginning, rather than the end.
This book is a follow on from the first Christmas book I did, "Dear Father Christmas", or "Dear Santa" as it's known in the States. Apart from the story and illustrations, they both have a lot of little envelopes inside them, which contain extras, exciting extras.
I don't know about you, but when I'm shopping for books on Amazon, I always find it frustrating that I can't have a flick through the book I'm interested in. A few times, I've bought a book, thinking it looked great because the cover made it look great, and then when I receive it in the post, I'm a bit disappointed. So I thought I'd show you a wide selection of pictures, and those little extras, from my new book, "Dear Father Christmas, Get Well Soon", to give you a good idea of what the content is like.
The above picture is actually the second spread in the book. Holly has woken up to find Father Christmas has left her a letter at the bottom of her bed. Holly's delighted by this, as she and Billy (her little brother), were getting very excited about the arrival of Christmas.
There is just one fly in the ointment, the letter in the envelope is actually written by a Christmas Elf, saying there's an emergency, Father Christmas is unwell! The Christmas Elf begs Holly to write Father Christmas a letter to cheer him up.
Holly, being the obliging little girl that she is, writes back to the Christmas Elf, and you get to see her letter , next to the picture above. Holly also wants to know what the Elfs name is. (Quite right too).
You then get the Elf's response. AND you get a nice surprise gift, in the form of a card from the Elf:
And Harvey, in his letter, tries to push his luck a bit (if you ask me), and asks Holly to help out with getting all the presents ready!
After seeing to it that Father Christmas is comfortable, Harvey attends to his chores, and then sits down to write a reply.
(Fancy having correspondence with a Christmas Elf hey! What fun!)
Apart from enclosing his letter to Holly in the envelope, Harvey also pops in a little something extra:
His special Christmas recipes! Well! Who'd have thought, cooking tips from an Elf, it really doesn't get much better than that, does it? There are more recipes on the other side of the folding card too.
Father Christmas is still a little unwell, he's sneezing a bit, but, he can get out of bed, which is a good sign, isn't it? Of course Harvey is making sure Father Christmas is safe and warm, and he's still keeping up the correspondence with Holly on Father Christmas's behalf. And with his letter this time, Harvey includes...................
But little does Holly know that things are soon going to get even better.
Meanwhile, "back at the ranch", everyone is panicking.
But look who's up and about! It's Father Christmas! Phew. He still feels a bit wobbly though, and is worried he's going to let all those little children down, there are lots of people who depend on him.
Can we see what's going on to the left a bit please?
When Harvey hears that Father Christmas is worried, and a little bit miserable, he knows he needs to act fast.
Off Harvey flies, into the night sky.
Well! What a surprise when Harvey returns home! He's brought Holly with him to cheer up Father Christmas, and help him on his round of gift giving. Father Christmas is positively thrilled to see Holly. It will make the long night ahead much more bearable, having Holly there to help him.
And how does this story end?
Oh I do like a nice reassuring story, and at this time, it's always nice to have a bit of glitter and sparkle too. This last spread of the book has a bit of the wow factor when you open it up. I didn't do the paper engineering for this, a special paper engineer did all the pop up miracle stuff, but I did paint everything. When I was painting the house, I wanted to take full advantage of the fact that you can actually peer into the windows.
I do likethe idea of being able to physically look aroud a scene in an illustration, and with this pop-up, you really can do it! I remember as a child, turning books this way, and that, trying to see behind a figure, or round a corner, and getting very frustrated at the limitations a two-dimensional picture presented. The Reindeer, and all the figures in front of the house, incliding the sleigh, have their back views painted (very important the magic doesn't stop with the front view). So you really can turn this picture this way and that, and have a very good nosy, without getting frustrated. The only drawback about this picture, is that the figures don't come alive and move around in the snow. Shame. You'll just have to imagine the stomping of Reindeer feet, the snorting of Reindeer noses, the excited chatter of the Elves, and the ho-ho-ho's of happy Father Christmas.
Now you've seen an abbreviated version of the story, and a selection of pictures, what do you think, would you like to see the full version?
I just looked on Amazon, and it's very reasonably priced, and I have to say, what with all those extra treats, exceptional value for money. You can find it on Amazon for the U.K. here. And if you're in the States, you can find it on Amazon here.
I was going to show you the first Father Christmas book, but I think that's probably enough for now, I'll show it to you tomorrow.
It feels a little like I've just read you a quick bed time story! And what does one say after closing a book? Time to go to bed now, night-night.
See you tomorrow, love Vanessa xxx