Friday, April 10, 2015

Hugely egg-citing news as Pat Hutchins legendary book "Rosie's Walk" gets a chick-tastic sequel coming on May 7th from Hachette!

Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins. Sheer picture book perfection!

We're very excited about this book, can you tell?

"Rosie's Walk" is an utterly fantastic and legendary children's book by one of the most amazingly talented children's authors in the world, Pat Hutchins. Pat's tale of an unassuming hen out for a brisk constitutional is a masterpiece of storytelling as we see a wily fox succumb to cruel karma in various comedic ways as he tries to pounce on the hen as she passes by. I fell in love with this book as a tiny wee whippersnapper and couldn't wait to share it with Charlotte when we found a copy nestling between the stacks in our local library. Know what? It's still as fantastic today as it was all those years ago (and you've gotta love that groovy 70s artwork, maaaan!)

News that a sequel was coming had us checking and double-checking our peepers. A sequel? From Pat herself? Are you KIDDING?

No we're not, and in fact here is the awesome cover of "Where oh where is Rosie's Chick"...

Where oh Where is Rosie's Chick by Pat Hutchins.

Hachette have very kindly sent us a brilliant interview with Pat herself, including some insights into her fab art technique revisited here for the new book.

On the original inspiration: ‘I lived in New York for two years with my husband, Laurence. I couldn’t work whilst I was out there because I was a “secondary alien” according to the US government. This was actually great because it gave me the time to concentrate on my illustration. I wanted to write a book about animal noises, which I took in to see a publisher, who pointed out that the most interesting character was the fox who said nothing. I went home and thought about that and from there sprung Rosie’s Walk – the name Rosie is a friend’s pet hen when I was young. I envisioned the book as a sort of silent, funny, film, one where the audience or readers are in on a secret that Rosie doesn’t know – a ‘he’s behind you!’ idea. It’s special not only because it was my first book, but because I had my first son on the same week that the book was published!’

On Rosie’s distinctive palette: ‘I used a ‘pre-separated’ art technique which starts as black and white, and then you layer over different sheets of different colours on top. That’s where Rosie’s Walk’s palette comes from – so obviously for the orange, I layered over red and yellow… When I began Where, Oh Where, is Rosie’s Chick? I was going to include some blue, but it didn’t seem right.’ On returning to Rosie 47 years after initial publication: ‘I only wanted to re-visit Rosie if the story made sense – I didn’t want to create something just for the sake of it. But Rosie having a chick makes sense, and always gives Rosie a way to have another walk without just repeating the same story.’

On the success of Rosie’s Walk: ‘I only lived in New York for two years, so it’s funny that the book is sometimes seen as an American book. I did include a woodchuck in the book for the American audience… It was a lovely surprise when the book was successful so quickly – I was thrilled with my £250 for writing the book, I didn’t expect anything else! It’s really very nice that it’s still read and enjoyed today.’

About Pat Hutchins: Pat Hutchins was born Yorkshire, the sixth of seven children. She won a scholarship to Darlington School of Art in 1958 and continued studying illustration at Leeds College of Art, graduating in 1962. She worked for advertising agency in London to 1966 when she married Laurence Hutchins and moved to New York City for two years. There she worked on writing and illustrating her first picture book, Rosie's Walk, published in 1968.

Pat Hutchins has written novels for early readers, some illustrated by husband Laurence and more than two dozen picture books. Her work is widely acclaimed; she won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1974 for The Wind Blew.

Pat Hutchins also played the role of an artistic narrowboat owner in the classic children's television series, Rosie and Jim. She has two children and four grandson