I am delighted to welcome Yuval Zommer to the blog today for a special guest post about his fabulous Big Book series in collaboration with Barbara Taylor, to celebrate the latest addition, ‘The BIg Book of Blue.’ The first two books in the collection, ‘The BIg Book of Bugs’ and ‘The Big Book of Beasts,’ have both featured in my favourite book lists for the last 2 years because they are some of the finest illustrated non-fiction books that I’ve ever read. ‘The Big Book of the Blue,’ offers a fascinating insight into the different types of animals who live in our oceans. Dive deep into the sea to meet an array of sea creatures including the dramatically coloured dragonet, the poisonous pufferfish and flying fish to name just a few. Discover why an octopus needs eight arms: if a ray makes electricity: why dolphins jump out of the sea and the answers to many more question in this exquisite exploration of sea life. Yuval has once again created the most sublime book filled with sumptuous spreads that invite the reader to spend hours pouring over these intricate and informative illustrations. I think it is perfectly pitched for the younger reader offering a timely reminder of the danger our oceans face from damage caused by humans. Lavishly produced with the most interesting and thoughtful information, this book is a total triumph.
Yuval Zommer – The Inspiration Behind the Big Book series
The inspiration behind the Big Book series is the fascination and curiosity all kids have about the wonders of the natural world.
I think art and science should, and do, belong together and the best example for this is Mother Nature. I consider Mother Nature to be our best artist and our best scientist ever! The most beautiful colour palettes, amazing patterns, best inventive design and unique textures can all be found in even the smallest of life forms.
I aim to bring picture book charm and natural science facts together which the reader can engage with, discover and explore through the large format of the books. Particularly important for me is to have the text running through the images (rather than separate) so that the reading experience itself is that of a journey.
To make the series factually robust I work with a real scientist/biologist/zoologist who’s credited in the books and makes sure everything we depict is anatomically and geographically correct!
Each of the books takes the best part of a year, being non-fiction and so many pages! But it’s a joyous process as I myself learn so much while working on each book and the best part is that I get to connect again with my inner child.
Yuval Zommer graduated from London’s Royal College of Art with an MA in Illustration. He has worked as a creative director at many leading advertising agencies.
Yuval’s passion for picture books has now won, and he is the author/illustrator of many highly acclaimed children’s books. Yuval lives and works in an old house in Notting Hill where he overlooks a small garden which is visited by urban foxes, squirrels, birds and many insects, some of which later find their way into his stories. His other favourite places are The Natural History Museum and the Zoo.
Yuval has won the Heart of Hawick’s Children’s Book Award 2015 in the best new picture book category and his work has been nominated for the SLA Information Book Award 2017 and the 2018 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal.
Thank you to Yuval for his interesting guest post and to Katrina and Thames and Hudson for sending me a copy of this glorious book. ‘The Big Book of Blue’ is available to buy now online or from any good bookshop.