Category: Book jackets

‘The Yummy Creamy Cheese” – Book Jacket

This is the first of 2 books i have written and illustrated whilst at uni. This book isn’t written in rhyme but is a ‘play on words’ full of interesting sounds and tongue twisting sentences that encourage children’s vocabulary and speech. At the same time the book is all about how we shouldn’t take something that doesn’t belong to us, and what can happen when we do! it also brings up the issue as to how children choose to deal with their anger….as the cat in the story has 2 definite choices…you have to read it to see which one he chooses!!

The illustrations were created using 2d cut out images and then building 3d sets , placing them in there, lighting them to create interesting shadows and then photographing them. It was a totally exhausting but very worthwhile experience where i felt i learned so many skills such as photography and layout and composition as well as colour choice and balance. I also took the book through the whole process of printing which in itself was quite a challenge!

The book is a 32 page picture book, which i hope to find a publisher for in the near future, I feel that because of the way it is illustrated it offers something a little different to the world of children’s books, and the children that have read it have given really great feedback, so fingers crossed that i can find a  publisher who also thinks the same hey?

The birds sing the cat to sleep, while he is guarding ‘The Yummy Creamy Cheese’!

‘BANG BANG BANG popped the piles of pongy poo!!’ (from the’Yummy Creamy Cheese’)


What a lot of work it was to get the entry submitted to Macmillan for this years Children’s picture book competition!! The guidelines were a 24 page picture book, plus end papers, book jacket, title and copyright page – at least 4 double final pages (mounted and presented properly) and all labelled and presented as perfectly as possible and then sent by courier to London to be entered into this years competition.


This is a very prestigious competition and has many entries from colleges and universities all over the UK, competition is tough, and the research i have done seems to make me think that Macmillan are looking for ‘traditional’ illustrators that use a lot of traditional media (which would rule me out altogether as i use mixed media that includes digital media as well).

I think that the whole experience of entering Macmillan was invaluable…i now know how to book bind perfectly and can make a pretty good mock book that wouldnt look out of place on a bookshelf in a store, i now know how to cut perfect mounts (which is handy as we will be doing lots of this for the graduate show in a couple of weeks.) and more than anything i have learned how to get a massive amount of work done and how to achieve what i needed to achieve in a set time scale (not an easy feat when you have lots of other things to do at the same time!)

So it’s in!! and the image below is the mock book from the outside…it is a story about a green and hairy witch called Brenda!! – now all i need is to find a publisher!!!!!

My Macmillan entry…finally finished!! 🙂

Although this illustrator aims at a slightly younger child than my own style, i love the simple but effective layouts of these book jackets.

This is the book jacket that we were asked to re design.Personally i have to say that i am not keen at all with this images, i find it very basic and uninteresting, with a distinct lack of expression and movement. I do think that the cover has already been redesigned as there is a marked difference between the quality of the illustrations inside the book and this image.I do quite like the black and white illustrations inside, but  this  jacket would certainly not encourage me to pick the book up.I also feel that the background colour drowns out the image we are supposed to be focussing on….and also there is only a small reference to the crisps and not much reference to the story –

so i will see if i can do any better….


This is where i am up to so far…however this is a ‘rough’ colouring, there is more work to do on layout and the child image before it is complete, but it gives a rough idea of the finished piece.


The first 'rough'



This week we have been asked to design a book jacket for this incredible book – something we have not done before, but i am really excited about.I love dragons and monsters so i think this brief will be right up my street, but first i need to do loads and loads of research on dragons and such like.I also need to look at the top-selling books and what other illustrators and publishers are putting out as jacket design in today’s market.

The outside of the book is the most important illustration of the whole book as it is what catches the reader’s eye immediately upon seeing it, that and also the title and the information on the back of the book –  get it right and you will get big sales, get it wrong and…….. etc. The prospective reader does not usually stand  in the book store reading the book to see if its ok, but makes their mind up in seconds as to whether or not to buy.The book jacket design tempts the reader to look within the pages.

So i must make sure i get it right…on with the research!!! Below is an exert from the animation – ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, showing a variety of amazing dragons for ideas!!