Featured post

PAM ROYDS 1924 - 2016

Pam Royds on Grasmere , 1971 with Sally Christie, children’s author and daughter of Philippa Pearce. I was just twenty two when I fir...

About Me

My photo
United Kingdom
My blog is about writing and illustrating children's books which I have been doing since 1974. www.gillianmcclure.com has all my books. I also have another blog: www.paulcoltman.blogspot.com where I publish my father's poems.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


Last Saturday was the typography workshop that Lisa Kirkham and I ran for SCBWI members. After a hairy drive through central London, when my Tom Tom lost the plot at a critical moment, sending  me the wrong way up various one-way streets and landing me in a bus lane - we arrived at a very peaceful venue in a secluded church building. The group was a talented one and we had a great discussion about the typographic design of the books we'd all brought along  - admiring Charlotte's Voake's hand done typeface and the way Emily Gravett's  hand written text in Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears was very much part of the illustration.
There's a lot of typographic fun and games going on in picture books today. We loved the girly type whenever 'girl pirates' were mentioned in The Night Pirates by Peter Harris and Deborah Allwright

and it was interesting seeing things from a professional typographer's point of view. Lisa is always thinking in terms of the movement of the reading eye; she spotted that 'Up, up up' on this page was in fact going down the page despite the decreasing size of each 'up' creating the perspective of going up.
   We found some books where the typographic design was over - the -top and didn't appear to have evolved with the image and text instead was arbitarily placed on the page.
   The workshop ended with a hands -on activity and then looking at the dummies people had brought along where a lot of thought had gone into the placement of text and image and the creative use of typeface .  

Sunday, 15 May 2011


After reading The Little White Sprite, a little boy in Canada is searching for sprite holes in Stanley Park. He thought he spotted two sprites on the day this photo was taken.

When I realised that children are fascinated by holes in trees and what lives inside them, I had this one made which I use with puppet characters in the workshops I give in schools and bookshops. There's going to be a Sprite workshop in Cambridge at Heffers Bookshop at 3 -4.30pm on 4 June.

Saturday, 7 May 2011


I'm soon to have a new next-door neighbour which has made me think of all the next-door neighbours I've had going back over the years to my childhood in West Sussex. Here's one I remember well, described in my father's poem Neighbour
and here's another who lived in a nearby chicken house: