Here’s a FREE video that shows you how to draw Lena from my new picture book, There’s Something Weird About Lena !
My new picture book, There’s Something Weird About Lena, is out today!
It’s the follow-up to 2015’s cult-favourite, My Dead Bunny. Prepare yourself for another hilariously creepy picture book (for older readers!).
You can find out more about the book here, and you can order it at the links below.
My new picture book, There’s Something Weird About Lena, is out in two weeks!
Today I’m going to introduce you to the cast of characters.
The Awesome Festival is back (and COVID safe) this October in Perth. I’m running some art workshops for kids, plus I’m having a double book launch!
I love making book trailers. It makes the armchair-movie-director in me feel very satisfied!
It’s a great challenge to make a movie that will give readers a sense of what the book is about; it’s also very exciting to find just the right music and sound effects that will bring the story to life.
It’s a bumper year for new books. As well as Toffle Towers book 3 out on Aug 4th, I’ve got another two books coming out later this year. One is a graphic novel about Jurassic Park with chickens, and the other the sequel to the cult-favourite My Dead Bunny!
James here, finding a quiet moment while the toddler is asleep to update my blog. And there’s lots of news to share …
FUNNY BONES out now
I’ve got a couple of pages of comics in there, but you’ll also find Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, Garth Nix, Jacqueline Harvey, Richard Roxburgh, Sally Rippin, Tristan Banks, Gus Gordon … you name them, they’re probably featured in here. It’s a brilliant book for a brilliant cause, and would make an absolutely brilliant Christmas present.
… or ask your local indie bookshop for a copy.
TOFFLE TOWERS 2 out in January
The next installment in the adventures of young hotel manager Chegwin Toffle will land in bookstores in January 2020. Words by the incomparable Tim Harris; illustrations by me.
This time around, Chegwin’s hotel staff are ‘reverse mugged’ by two mysterious men. Chaos ensues and it’s Chegwin’s job to get to the bottom of these attacks before Toffle Towers loses all its hard-earned guests. Meanwhile, the town of Alandale is preparing for the annual Great River Race. Once Chegwin discovers his saboteur is none other than Brontessa Braxton, owner of the rival hotel in town, Chegwin find himself preparing to go head to head with her in the Great River Race to save his beloved staff and Toffle Towers.You can pre-order Toffle Towers book 2 here:
– Booktopia (Australia/NZ only)
– Angus & Robertson (Australia only)
– QBD (Australia only)
… or ask your local indie bookshop to order it in for you.
More books coming in 2020/21
Look out for these projects coming next (I’m excited!):
– Chickensaurus (Sally Tinker book 4)
– Toffle Towers Book 3
– the follow-up picture book to cult favourite My Dead Bunny (more details on that soon)
– Stellarphant, a new picture book written and illustrated by me
That’s all the new book news for now! Thanks for reading.
I’ve got some Perth-based school holiday workshops, and the Perth book launch of Dungzilla!
Plus, some fantastic events in Queensland in early September, including the My Dead Bunny musical.
Children’s Book Week is coming up fast: this year it’s August 22nd – 26th.
A lot of older students will balk at the mention of picture books because those are just for babies.
But this book is different.
While it is technically a picture book, it’s definitely not a bedtime story for little ones – it’s for older readers, 8-ish and up (teenagers and adults especially seem to love this one.)
Older kids take one look at this book and know it’s not for babies, so they don’t feel like they’re being talked down to. It’s a great book for looking at rhyming texts, visual narrative/visual literacy and generic conventions. Plus it has zombies in it. Kids love zombies.
In preparation for Children’s Book Week, Walker Books and I have put together some free teacher notes for My Dead Bunny.The notes include heaps of discussion points and activity ideas, with links to relevant behind-the-scenes posts from my blog. It should all make studying the book in class super easy.
Behind-the-Scenes blog posts
My blog has heaps of posts about the making of the book; each post is tagged with ‘My Dead Bunny’.
Craft Activity – make your own zombie rabbit softie
Here’s some fun activities for early finishers – two word searches and two colouring-in sheets. Feel free to download these for use in your classroom.
– Mindlessness colouring sheet #1 –
Download now (pdf)
– Mindlessness colouring sheet #2 –
Download now (pdf)
If you choose to use the book in class, I’d love to hear about how you use it! Please leave a comment below, or send me photos of displays/student work via james(AT)jamesfoley.com.au [replace the (AT) with an @].
Buy ‘My Dead Bunny’ now
Today I’m going to show you how I used photographic textures in the illustrations of My Dead Bunny.
Photographic textures are great for whenever you need a realistic-looking texture, or when it’s going to be too hard ot time-consuming to draw a texture by hand.
I’ve used photographic textures in all my books so far, but only sparingly. The creepy, cinematic style of Dead Bunny called for the use of lots and lots of textures, and it was heaps of fun to let loose.
Example 1: title page
Here’s a little excerpt from the title page illustration. It uses the three three texture samples you see below it.