As part of National Non-Fiction November, today we have a guest post for you from illustrator Joe Lillington, whose debut book, a non-fiction picture book about giant ice-age animals, Toby and the Ice Giants, has just been published by Flying Eye Books. Details of an amazing giveaway packed with non-fiction titles from Flying Eye Books follow Joe’s post below.
Illustration, narrative and non-fiction
“In Toby and the Ice Giants I was keen to combine the idea of being able to learn and put together your own understanding of the creatures from the Ice Age alongside an exciting narrative. I wanted the reader to enjoy the story, characters and imagery whilst also being able to relate the accompanying facts back to what they could see happening in the pictures. By keeping the factual information consistent across all the different animals that Toby met on his journey, I wanted the reader to be able to make clear comparisons between the creatures based on their weight, size and diet. I think this allows the reader to play an active role in the story and also in their understanding of the Ice Age Giants.
Combining information and narrative is an approach that I keep coming back to in my illustration work. When I was younger I really enjoyed reading non fiction books as I liked the mixture of information and facts running alongside the illustrations. I especially liked it when the pictures had cut away sections, showing the inside of buildings, cars and boats etc. in more detail, as this would give a real sense of how things work and fit together, letting you gain a lot of information visually before you even look at the text.
One of the things I particularly enjoy about creating a non fiction piece of work is that you get to expand your knowledge on a particular subject or learn something new entirely. I already had an interest in the Ice Age, but when I was doing the research for the book I learnt a lot more. The trouble was I ended up with a lot more information than I could include in the book! I then had the challenge of selecting and condensing all my research into something that would work for the audience and as part of a story picture book.
I hope that the inclusion of facts and figures, maps and size charts in Toby and the Ice Giants gives the book a sense of being a resource that can be returned to again and again for reference. Using stories as a way of learning seems to make subjects such as the Ice Age more accessible. I think stories that are grounded in fact are engaging and exciting because while reading about these fantastical creatures of the Ice Age, you know that they really did exist and that humans who were just like ourselves lived alongside them!”
This guest post was provided by Joe Lillington. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups.
Now for the giveaway!
One lucky person will win a bundle of books worth over £65, consisting of a copy of each of the following:
Toby and the Ice Giants by Joe Lillington
Professor Astro Cat by Ben Newman and Dominic Walliman
One Day on Our Blue planet by Ella Bailey
Mad About Monkeys by Owen Davey
Beautiful Birds by Emmanuelle Walker
To enter the competition all you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post (don’t worry if your comment doesn’t appear immediately – each has to be checked manually by a real human being to make sure we’re not inundated with spam).
Things to know:
Best of luck! Our thanks go to Flying Eye Books for enabling this generous giveaway.
*******THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED AND THE WINNER HAS BEEN CONTACTED BY EMAIL (30 Nov)***********