Thursday 7 April 2016

Nibbles the Book Monster comes crashing in on our entry on the Nibbles Blog Tour!

We're literally machine-gunning posts at you today, with two Blog Tour buses crashing in on the blog at the same time, dogs and cats living together - it's sheer chaos!

"Bear's Big Bottom" by Steve Smallman and Emma Yarlett
For the second Blog Tour stop of the day, we're having a wee chat with a creative bunch of people from Little Tiger to celebrate the glorious launch day of Emma Yarlett's fabulous "Nibbles the Book Monster". Here's Ellie and Sadia from Little Tiger:

Hello from the Little Tiger Press creative team!
I’m Ellie (editor) and together with Sadia (designer), we were the very lucky pair who got to ride the Nibbles the Book Monster rollercoaster with Emma.

At Little Tiger we’ve been fans of Emma’s work from the start (or maybe slightly before the start!) of her illustration career. Back in 2010, whilst Emma was studying at Falmouth School of Art, she came into the Little Tiger offices to do some work experience with the design team! We kept our eyes on her developing style and increasing portfolio and, not long after she graduated, we were lucky enough to sign Emma up to illustrate Steve Smallman’s hilarious rhyming romp – Bear’s Big Bottom.

It was a hit!

We knew we had to work with Emma again, and when the early draft of Nibbles landed on my desk, I knew it had to be this book!

What’s not to love?

1 – A cute and cuddly, mischievous and mayhem-inducing monster - tick

2 – Everyone’s favourite fairy tale characters – tick

3 – Bags of humour – tick. And let’s not forget . . .

4 – Emma’s beautiful art! Tick, tick, tick!

The final object is a book-lover’s delight. It has a clear narrative hook that grabs hold of the reader and pulls you through the book. It’s elegantly simple but don’t let appearances fool you. I think Emma’s mentioned in previous posts that the development process was at times mind-boggling and head scratching! We had some fun editorial discussions on the phone, and via email, about approaches, endings and alternatives before Emma sent over her first set of thumbnails – here’s a little peek.

From this point, as an editor, it’s important to make sure that the basic storyline feels strong enough. If there are any points or moments that could work harder, be funnier, need smoothing out or changing then this is the moment to flag them and suggest how they might work differently. Hopefully these comments act as a springboard for the author/illustrator to take the text to the next level – which Emma always did!

Once the basic structure has confirmed we move on to character sketches:


Then final artwork: 

Once this has all been delivered we arrange for the printer to make blank dummies: that we can check that all the complex mini books and die-cuts work properly.

And then printer dummies:

...which we take to a book fair (either Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy or Frankfurt Book Fair in Gemany) and present to publishers from around the world who will buy the book and create editions for their countries.

So far, Nibbles is on track to publish in Britain, Australia, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Denmark, Holland and America.

And, as you can see, it’s been published with two different cover designs, both of which work best for the markets they have been sold to.

Why do we think this book has done so well internationally? We think it’s because it appeals to book lovers the world over. It’s an unashamed celebration of picture books and reading!

I also think that Emma’s art style is so accessible. There’s such a lot of humour in her characterization and intricate detail is her pieces that captivates children (and adults). Her palette is sophisticated but also bright and engaging – perfect for capturing and maintaining a reader’s attention.

I think it’s safe to say that Nibbles is munching his way around the world to great success! Hooray for Nibbles and hooray for Emma Yarlett!

Thank you Ellie, Sadia and of course thanks to Emma and all the best with the book launch today!