Clever Bill by William Nicholson
  

Synopsis

Clever Bill by William Nicholson

A beautiful brand new hardback edition of one of the greatest children's books of all time, from the renowned artist William Nicholson, illustrator of The Velveteen Rabbit. The perfect balance of words and pictures, this charming story of a busy day and a forgotten toy paved the way for the modern picture book and still manages to capture the heart with its winning simplicity and uniquely gripping story. A brilliant piece ...never fails to grip three- and four-year-olds. (Shirley Hughes). Clever Bill, I have long felt, is among the few perfect picture books for children. (Maurice Sendak). Sir William Nicholson was a distinguished British artist and graphic illustrator. He was renowned for his images of the famous, from Queen Victoria and Rudyard Kipling to Mark Twain and Theodore Roosevelt. He illustrated Margery Williams' classic children's book The Velveteen Rabbit which was published to great acclaim in 1922. Nicholson went on to write and illustrate two more children's books, Clever Bill and The Pirate Twins.

Reviews

A brilliant piece ... never fails to grip three- and four-year-olds -- Shirley Hughes Among the few perfect picture books ever created ... I would not hesitate to give this to any child I knew -- Maurice Sendak

About the Author

William Nicholson

William Nicholson was our Guest Editor in April 2010 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing.

William Nicholson was born in 1948, and grew up in Sussex and Gloucestershire. He was educated at Downside School and Christ's College, Cambridge, and then joined BBC Television, where he worked as a documentary film maker. There his ambition to write, directed first into novels, was channelled into television drama. His plays for television include Shadowlands and Life Story, both of which won the BAFTA Best Television Drama award in their year; other award-winners were Sweet As You Are and The March. In 1988 he received the Royal Television Society's Writer's Award. His first play, an adaptation of Shadowlands for the stage, was Evening Standard Best Play of 1990, and went on to a Tony-award winning run on Broadway. He was nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay of the film version, which was directed by Richard Attenborough and starred Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger. Since then he has written more films - Sarafina, Nell, First Knight, Grey Owl, and Gladiator (as co-writer), for which he received a second Oscar nomination. He has written and directed his own film, Firelight; and three further stage plays, Map of the Heart, Katherine Howard and The Retreat from Moscow. His novel for older children, The Wind Singer, won the Smarties Prize Gold Award on publication in 2000, and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award in 2001. Its sequel, Slaves of the Mastery, was published in May 2001, and the final volume in the Wind on Fire trilogy, Firesong was published in May 2002. A further epic trilogy – Noble Warriors – has seen been published to much acclaim and began with The Seeker, continued with Jango and culminates in Noman. He lives in Sussex with his wife Virginia and their three children.

Where do you get your ideas?

What inspired you to write ‘The Wind Singer, your first novel for teenagers’?

I take a lot of trouble over names. Often I’ll change a character’s name several times during the writing of the book, until it settles down and feels right. The meaning of the name, or the associations of the sound, have to connect with the character – so Kestrel is fast and dangerous and beautiful, like the hawk, and Mumpo is mumbly and pooey, at least to start with. Also I try to give people from the same group similar names. All the Manth people have names ending in –th or –ch or –sh, and all the mud people have names ending in –um. This is very much what happens in the real world.

Did you know The Wind Singer would be part of a trilogy?

If you want to write books, you have to do two things: read books, and write. It sounds obvious, but only by writing a lot will you get any good. The better the books you read, the better your own writing will be. Then it’s just a matter of keeping on writing. You won’t get good by giving up. I was useless for a long time, but slowly I got better. You can do it too. If you feel strong enough, show your work to others, and listen to their criticisms. It hurts - but if you listen, you'll get better.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

Click here to read a Q&A with the author from top children's publisher Egmont.

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info

Format

Hardback
32 pages
Interest Age: From 3

Author

William Nicholson
More books by William Nicholson

Author's Website

www.williamnicholson.co.uk

Publisher

Publication date

2nd June 2016

ISBN

9781405283328


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