Friday, 30 January 2015

15 Things Not to do with a Baby - Launch at Seven Stories

Celebrating with my 7 year old niece, May.
May checking out the entrance display at Seven Stories.
Had the most amazing evening of my life last night at Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books for the launch celebration of my first picture book, '15 Things NOT to do with a Baby', written by award winning author, Margi McAllister. It was a overwhelming turn out by many of our family, friends and supporters.

I would like to thank Margi McAllister for writing a dream of a text, full of fun and silliness! Thank you to Janetta Otter-Barry and Frances Lincoln Children's Books for believing in the book, trusting in me as a new illustrator and making it a reality. Thank you to Andrew Watson from Frances Lincoln, for being a fabulously talented designer to work with.

Thank you to Elizabeth Hammill and Seven Stories for their ongoing support of me as an illustrator and friend. 

A combined thank you to Nicky Potter and the Seven Stories team for organising such an amazing launch celebration. It was completely magical night.

A very special thank you to my agent Kathryn Ross and partner in crime Lindsey Fraser for simply being the best!!

Lastly, I would like to thank those family, friends and supporters who couldn't join us on this special evening!

As an added note, I am happy to share that I have been announced as Books For Keeps 'New Talent' this week. You can read their fabulous review of the book here... http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/issue/210/childrens-books/reviews/15-things-not-to-do-with-a-baby

Other reviews of the book:
Mirrors Windows Doors http://mirrorswindowsdoors.org/wp/review-15-things-not-to-do-with-a-baby/

Parents in Touch http://www.parentsintouch.co.uk/Book-reviews-fiction-age-2-to-5-page-14

The Bookbag http://www.thebookbag.co.uk/reviews/index.php?title=15_Things_Not_to_Do_with_a_Baby_by_Margaret_McAllister_and_Holly_Sterling

Books In My House https://littlebooktastic.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/15-things-not-do-do-with-a-baby-written-by-margaret-mcallister-illustrated-by-holly-sterling-frances-lincoln/

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall at Seven Stories

Meeting HRH the Duchess of Cornwall
HRH signing the Seven Stories guest book
On Wednesday 28th January I was honoured to receive an invitation to attend a visit by HRH the Duchess of Cornwall to Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books. The Duchess is a passionate supporter of initiatives and organisations that promote literacy and the enjoyment of books and reading, so Seven Stories was the perfect place to have included in a visit to Newcastle.

The Duchess enjoyed a tour of the building and we then had the opportunity to meet her over a cup of tea in the bookshop. She signed the Seven Stories guest book and was presented with a specially signed copy of 'Over the Hills and Far Away' by Elizabeth Hammill, which she said she would enjoy reading to her grandchildren.

This visit marked the start of an important year for Seven Stories, who are celebrating their 10th birthday in the summer. Keep your eyes peeled for many exciting events to follow this year, starting with a refurbishment of the building in the spring.

Photographs courtesy of © Damien Wootten Photography.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

A Mother Goose Odyssey

Me, Elizabeth and Rita after the event
Last week I helped the co founder of Seven Stories, Elizabeth Hammill to give a talk at Explore, the lifelong learning centre in Newcastle upon Tyne. Elizabeth told the story of the creation of Over the Hills and Far Away, which was selected as one of Seven Stories' 50 best culturally diverse children's books (see the Diverse Voices List). My part in the event focused firstly on my contribution to the book but also on my empathy for the importance of representing the diverse society that we live in today in books that we make and share with children.

Elizabeth's review of the day...
"How do you capture the excitement, discoveries, adventure (and hard work too) involved in the journey undertaken to make a collection of nursery rhymes from across the English speaking world illustrated by 77 international artists - established and new? 

We had two and a half hours to do just this with a wonderfully responsive group of students at Explore in Newcastle. 

Together we all went on a Mother Goose Odyssey - unfolding the story of the creation of Over the Hills and Far Away in words and pictures, and of our roles as researcher, collector, compiler, artist finder - rather like an exhibition curator - and as a new artist winning a competition to create a double spread for the book. It was a new team experience for both of us - invigorating and fun. Perhaps we'll be able to do it again!"

A snippet of an event attendee's review...
"Together they took us on the journey through the production, publication and launching of the book. The amount of diligent work, as well as the inspired thinking in the development of this book, was inspiring. I think my words echo the thoughts of all present. A wonderful session. Thank you."


Thank you to Explore and Rita for organising a wonderful event full of enthusiastic students.

Holly and Elizabeth x

Thursday, 8 January 2015

15 Things NOT to do with a Baby is LAUNCHED!


So here it finally is... 15 Things NOT to do with a Baby. This is my first picture book for Frances Lincoln and first time illustrating the text of award-winning author, Margaret McAllister.

As soon as I read the story, I knew I had to illustrate it! It involved a cute new baby (tick), it was hilarious (tick) and revealed an interesting relationship being siblings (tick).

We are very happy to announce that the book is currently 'Book of the week' with the UK's leading independent children's book magazine, Books for Keeps. You can also read my FIRST BOOK REVIEW, written by Ferelith Hordon, right here.

Although the book is officially released and for sale, we will be celebrating the launch at Seven Stories (National Centre for Children's Books) on Thursday 29th January. To say I'm excited, is an understatement!


Monday, 15 December 2014

Illustration Friday - Sea

Full illustration
Close up

Noah and Bear having more fun together this Christmas.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

It's that time....

Yes, it is that time of year! ...time to decorate your Christmas tree. Mine will be up and running tomorrow. Thought I'd share this illustration to help get us all in the Christmassy mood.

Although it is nearly the Christmas break, I've still got deadlines to meet beforehand. I'm currently working on my first picture book that I have both written and illustrated, so this is all very exciting.

Also looking forward to my first picture book to be launched in January 2015 called 15 Things Not to Do with a Baby. This wonderful text was written by the amazing Margaret McAllister and is going to be published by Frances Lincoln.

Will keep you posted about our book launch. Sounds like it is going to be very exciting!!