Monthly Archives: September 2021

Cover Reveal – Pie-Rats and the Mist Island Treasure by Kate Poels, illustrated by Sarah Horne

I’m really excited to be able to reveal for you today, the cover of Kate Poel’s new book, ‘Pie-Rats and the Mist Island Treasure,’ illustrated by Sarah Horne which will be published on 28th November.

So without further ado here it is…

This treasure of a cover was created by Sarah Horne and hints at the irresistible swashbuckling adventure that lies within the pages, waiting to sail you away. I was lucky enough to have an early read and it’s packed full of silliness and fun with a large sprinkle of chaos and carnage. An irresistible cast of characters make the story leap off the page and it will completly captivate younger readers.

Let’s find out more…

Pie-Rats and the Mist Island Treasure

Captain Greentail

Jump aboard the good(ish) ship, Black Biscuit, with Steady Eddy, Cap’n Greentail and the rest of the Pie-Rat crew as they search for the lost treasure of Mist Island.

Only be warned, there be mouldy pies, pirate ghosts and skullduggery aplenty.

So batten down yer hatches, grab yer pie pistols and get ready to set sail…If ye be brave enough.

Steady Eddy

Thank you to Kate for inviting me to host the cover reveal. ‘Pie-Rats and the Mist Island Treasure,’ is available to pre-order online now or directly from Four Bears Books by emaililng info@fourbearsbooks.uk

Diary of an Accidental Witch – Perdita & Honor Cargill, illustrated by Katie Saunders

Today I am excited to be joining the blog tour for, ‘Diary of an Accidental Witch,’ by Perdita & Honor Cargill, illustrated by Katie Saunders. Bea Black had moved to Little Spellshire, a town with a magical secret. When her dad accidentally enrols her at witch school, she has to get to grips with some interesting new classes, like, NOW! Also on her to do list…make friends, look after the grumpy class frog. AND do everything humanly magically possible to stay on the broom. But with the Halloween Ball on the horizon, will she be able to master her wand skills in time to WOW? And more importantly can she keep her newfound magical abilities a secret from dad? This is the first book in an exciting and magical new series that is bound to delight middle grade readers with it’s engaging diary format, brilliant characterisation and hilarious plot. Brimming with magical mishaps, sprinkled in humour and featuring the most wonderful illustrations this book completely charmed me. A brilliantly imagined world that is bound to entertain & amuse. Loved it!

To celebrate the publication of ‘Diary of an Accidental Witch,’ I have a special Q & A with Katie Saunders by the dynamic duo Perdita and Honor.

Q&A with Katie Saunders by Perdita and Honor Cargill

Thank you so much Jo, for being part of our blog tour! You did our cover reveal (thank you!) so you already know how much we love Katie Saunders’ work – seeing the inside illustrations come in was so exciting. This is a whole new sort of collaboration for us and we thought it would be fun to understand a little more about how it works from Katie’s side so we asked her some questions:

As soon as we saw your sample drawing of Bea, we knew you had captured her perfectly! How did she come to you?

She took a few attempts – my first idea was too young so I had a rethink. I thought she would be a tiny bit awkward with short black hair (always a bob style – just what I saw) and I’m not sure why but I didn’t see her as massively girly. She has an element of my own daughter, Olive – she’s a bit of a tomboy and the same age. Then there was just a bit of tweaking later on with the design and art direction.

Well, she is spot on! Her expressions make us laugh out loud – especially when she’s panicking… It’s so interesting that you just ‘see’ some things because it’s the same for us when we’re writing. We love that you’ve put some of Olive into her, that’s so special! Big shout out too, to the brilliant art and design team at Little Tiger, Charlie Moyler and Sophie Bransby.

Who was your favourite character to draw?

I love Winnie. I adore her lovely curls and I couldn’t stop adding to her (we’ve just got a second sausage dog and now we’ve named her Winnie!). So she was my favourite to draw – but Bea is my favourite character by far. I love the fact that she’s desperate for a puppy…

We’ve just looked at the sausage dog drawings (https://www.advocate-art.com/katie-saunders) and they are ADORABLE. If a puppy were ever to make an appearance in the series, it will have to be a sausage dog!

Which character did you find the hardest to draw?

Ms Celery was trickiest. I’m not sure why but she took the longest. I was struggling to make her look like a teacher as well as a witch – I wanted her to be a cool popular P.E. teacher and not too old or scary.

She can be quite intimidating (she’s not one for health and safety…) but she definitely ends up as one of Bea’s faves.

Can you give us a quick insight into how you work?

I usually need at least two coffees before I start – I can’t function without caffeine! I work a combination of hand-drawn and computer-generated and I sketch with my Wacom just like I would with an ordinary sketchbook. I love texture, tone and shading. But everything starts with character – designing character is simply my favourite thing ever!

This is such a magical answer because for us too, it all starts with characters!

Thank you to Perdita, Honor and Katie for such an interesting Q & A. I love getting an insight into the illustrative process.

Blog Tour

Why not join in with the rest of the blog tour for more guest posts and reviews…

‘Diary of an Accidental Witch,’ is available to buy now online or from you local bookshop. If you can please support your local independent bookshop you can find your nearest one here.