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Sam Usher - Illustrator

About the Illustrator

Sam Usher graduated from the University of West England and his debut picture book Can You See Sassoon? was shortlisted for the Waterstones Prize and the Red House Children's Book Award. He is particularly admired for his technical drawing skill and prowess with watercolour. Also a talented pianist, when he's not holding a pen and wobbling at paper you'll find him perfecting a fiendishly difficult piece of Chopin.

 

Featured books by Sam Usher

The Witch Dog

The Witch Dog

5+ readers

Author: Margaret Mahy Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/09/2014

The Witch Dance is a special party. Every witch brings a cloak, a hat and a cat. But not Witch Rose. She is allergic to cats! Luckily for her, Nightshade, the perfect Witch Dog is on hand to help. But can Witch Rose and Nightshade convince the other witches that a Witch Dog really can be as good as any cat?

Other books by Sam Usher

What Did the Tree See?

What Did the Tree See?

Author: Charlotte Guillain Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/07/2022

'This beautifully drawn book is a delightful launchpad for home learning' - Sunday Times Told in gentle rhyming verse, this beautiful non-fiction picture book follows the story of an oak tree on a hilltop as it witnesses life changing around it over the course of hundreds of years. From the time when hunters chased deer through the woodland, to when trees were cleared for farmland, to the smog and factories emerging during the industrial revolution. One majestic oak has seen it all, and now we can too. Accompanying pages at the end of the book include a timeline of events in world history across the periods featured in the poem, the life cycle of an oak tree, and prompts to help parents and children explore their own local history. 10p from every book sold goes to support the work of the National Forest.

Carnival of the Hunted

Carnival of the Hunted

Author: Kieran Larwood Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/07/2022

The first figure raises his crossbow, tilting his head to pinpoint the exact position of the thing in the bushes. It has stopped running now, and is muttering something. Some kind of prayer, a call for its mother, its father: anyone who might help it. Something sinister is going on in the stinking slums of London. Sideshow acts are going missing . . . men wearing animal masks and eye goggles are hunting them down and killing them for sport. But who are this fiendish Hunters' Club? And what is the reason for their cruel game? Sheba the wolfgirl and Pyewacket the witch's imp know all about life in a sideshow. But now they are the Carnival, private investigators working to help unusual people like them. Teaming up with new recruits half-cat Inji, her extraordinary brother, the armadillo-like Sil and Glyph the psychic, it's a race against time . . . to track down the mask-wearing villains, before anyone else comes to harm!

All Aboard the London Bus

All Aboard the London Bus

Author: Patricia Toht Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/2022

This delightful rhyming picture book follows a family as they explore London, one of the world's most famous capital cities! Come! Board the London Bus and see the London sights with us. At any time, hop off, explore! Then climb back on, and ride some more... As a family of four spend a day exploring London, fun, child-friendly poems introduce readers to our wonderful capital city, and all its secrets. Well-known landmarks like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the London Eye, plus inescapable features like rain and taking tea, all get Patty Toht's witty treatment. Non-fiction facts provide more information about the poetry subjects, while rising star Sam Usher brings them to life with his signature style and humour. This gorgeous celebration of London will be loved by both tourists and those who call the city home.

The Young Designers The Adventures of Moose & Mr Brown

The Young Designers The Adventures of Moose & Mr Brown

Author: Sir Paul Smith Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/04/2022

The iconic international fashion designer Paul Smith is back with the acclaimed Sam Usher for a second amazing book following the adventures of Moose & Mr Brown. This time there are visitors to Mr Brown's fashion studio. A group of small and inquisitive visitors - lots of young animals who all want to learn how to be a designer. Moose is put in charge of the little ones and chaos ensues. From Skunk creating a stink in the lift, to Elephant spilling juice all over a pristine white coat. Luckily Moose knows how to keep the youngsters entertained and how to inspire them - so will it all come good in the end? A laugh-out-loud follow up to the charming first Moose & Mr Brown book.

Carnival of the Lost

Carnival of the Lost

Author: Kieran Larwood Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/02/2022

A wonderfully murky, carnivalesque world of intrigue, unexpected friendships and mysteries solved. Sheba the wolf girl joins an unusual troupe of performers that includes Pyewacket, a witch's imp; Gigantus the giant and Sister Moon, a knife thrower. For the first time in her life she feels she might make true friends, and learn a real stage craft. But soon that's not all she has to think about . . . Children are being sucked into the Thames and there have been strange sightings of a mechanical monster. The carnival troupe know first-hand that looks only tell half a story - they become determined to find these forgotten children. Perhaps they will unravel the mystery that has defied even the law! Illustrated with black and white artwork from superstar illustrator, Sam Usher, and the first in a brand new series! 'Thrilling, original, full of zest and wit.' The London Times 'An atmospheric and exciting read.' BookTrust 'A page-turning adventure.' The Daily Mirror

The Birthday Duck

The Birthday Duck

Author: Michael Morpurgo Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/02/2022

The classic story of finding fun on the farm from the nation's favourite storyteller, gorgeously re-illustrated by Sam Usher. From Sir Michael Morpurgo comes a classic story of one small boy, and one very lucky duck... Sam is a city boy through and through - and isn't looking forward to his school trip to Nethercott Farm at all. But busy days of farm work, animals and learning all about nature weave their magic - and when Sam finds a duck about to be dinner, he is determined to save him. But how? This warm and magical story is gloriously brought to life by the incredible illustrative talent of Sam Usher, and is set on the real-life Nethercott Farm - a member of Farms for City Children - the charity that offers urban children from all over the country the chance to live and work together on a real farm and experience the magic of the English countryside.

A Night at the Frost Fair

A Night at the Frost Fair

Author: Emma Carroll Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/11/2021

Capture the magic of winters past with this stunning gift for all the family by bestselling author Emma Carroll, and award-winning illustrator, Sam Usher. 'A magical adventure to melt the frostiest of hearts' Ben Miller. It's Christmastime, and searching for magic, Maya finds herself transported back two hundred years to the banks of the frozen river Thames. A boy called Eddie shows Maya the bustle of the glittering frost fair, filled with music, sweet stalls and thrilling rides. Is this all a dream, or can Maya bring a piece of the beautiful frost fair home with her after all . . . ? A winter story of freedom and family, from the award-winning Emma Carroll, with stunning full colour illustrations by Sam Usher, A Night at the Frost Fair is a classic to treasure on the family bookshelf this Christmas and for years to come.

LOST

LOST

Author: Sam Usher Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/2021

The third title in a new quartet of enchanting picture books in which a boy and his beloved grandad discover the wonder of the natural world. The third title in this enchanting follow-up quartet to Sam Usher's acclaimed seasonal books, featuring Boy and Grandad who now encounter a variety of animals - and learn valuable lessons about the natural world. LOST sees the two of them setting off to search for a lost dog. Their snowy adventure takes them all the way to the Arctic, where they find the dog with her new friends - a pack of huskies!

LOST

LOST

Author: Sam Usher Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/09/2021

The third title in this enchanting follow-up quartet to Sam Usher's acclaimed seasonal books, featuring Boy and Grandad who now encounter a variety of animals - and learn valuable lessons about the natural world. LOST sees the two of them setting off to search for a lost dog. Their snowy adventure takes them all the way to the Arctic, where they find the dog with her new friends - a pack of huskies!

The Birthday Duck

The Birthday Duck

Author: Michael Morpurgo Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/04/2021

The classic story of finding fun on the farm from the nation's favourite storyteller, gorgeously re-illustrated by Sam Usher. From Sir Michael Morpurgo comes a classic story of one small boy, and one very lucky duck... Sam is a city boy through and through - and isn't looking forward to his school trip to Nethercott Farm at all. But busy days of farm work, animals and learning all about nature weave their magic - and when Sam finds a duck about to be dinner, he is determined to save him. But how? This warm and magical story is gloriously brought to life by the incredible illustrative talent of Sam Usher, and is set on the real-life Nethercott Farm - a member of Farms for City Children - the charity that offers urban children from all over the country the chance to live and work together on a real farm and experience the magic of the English countryside.

Thank You A story celebrating key workers and the NHS

Thank You A story celebrating key workers and the NHS

Author: Joseph Coelho Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/09/2020

This touching children's book is a heartfelt and heartwarming tribute to the people who worked hard to keep us safe and keep society going during the global pandemic. Tatenda says thank you every day, wherever he can. Thank you to Mum and Dad for making breakfast, thank you to the post lady for delivering his favourite comic, thank you to his teacher for marking his work and thank you to the shop assistant stacking shelves. But lately, it seems no one can hear his thank yous: their heads are too foggy with worry. So Tatenda decides to say his biggest 'Thank you' ever. He stands on tiptoe, brings his arms down like a huge rainbow... and this time, his thank you helps the whole community feel better! This beautiful story from an award-winning author and illustrator team was inspired by the coronavirus pandemic and the NHS Thursday clap and helps to show children how they can celebrate the key workers in their lives. By buying a copy of this book you are making a donation of 3% of the retail price to Groundwork, a charity that helps some of the UK's most disadvantaged communities deal with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

WILD

WILD

Author: Sam Usher Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/07/2020

Grandad and Boy look after a cat for a friend. Boy does lots of reading up about what cats like, but the cat is having none of it. And then it runs off into the wild, leading Grandad and Boy into a wild jungle fantasy adventure of their own. The second title in Sam Usher's new quartet of books where a boy and his grandad explore the natural world.

WILD

WILD

Author: Sam Usher Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/07/2020

Grandad and Boy look after a cat for a friend. Boy does lots of reading up about what cats like, but the cat is having none of it. And then it runs off into the wild, leading Grandad and Boy into a wild jungle fantasy adventure of their own. The second title in Sam Usher's new quartet of books where a boy and his grandad explore the natural world.

The Adventures of Moose & Mr Brown. Signed, limited edition

The Adventures of Moose & Mr Brown. Signed, limited edition

Author: Sir Paul Smith Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/10/2019

THIS BEAUTIFUL LIMITED GIFT EDITION FEATURES AN ART PRINT OF MOOSE AND MR BROWN NUMBERED AND SIGNED BY SIR PAUL SMITH AND SAM USHER AND A SPECIAL LINEN-BOUND EDITION OF THE BOOK, CONTAINED IN A LINEN CLAMSHELL BOX. This is the renowned international fashion designer Sir Paul Smith's very first children's picture book - and the first book in a new and exciting series. Written by Sir Paul and illustrated by the brilliant Sam Usher it is a stunning, beautiful, laugh-out-loud story of animals, travel, design and finding inspiration in the most unlikely of places. Inspired by toys that Paul has owned for many years, the main characters are Moose, a moose, and Mr Brown, a monkey who lives in Sir Paul's office in London. Mr Brown is an international fashion designer, who meets Moose on a plane travelling to London. Moose is distraught as he has lost his twin brother Monty - who got on the wrong plane! Mr Brown agrees to help Moose track Monty down, and in return, Moose helps bring even more inspiration to Mr Brown's business. They travel around the world, helping other animals with their designs (slippers for sloths, parkas for penguins, scarves for giraffes, and more) and looking for Monty. Will Mr Brown and Moose find Monty before Mr Brown's big catwalk show?

The Great Clown Conundrum

The Great Clown Conundrum

Author: Alexander Mccall Smith Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

Roll up! Roll up! A new season is about to begin at the Shortbread family's circus! The big-top is ready and everyone is excited to get started. But as the shows begin chief clown Mr Birdcage is in a bit of a pickle - none of his hilarious props seem to be working! When budding detectives Billy, Fern and Joe get on the case to investigate, they soon discover that the props have been tampered with! But who would want to sabotage Mr Birdcage and why?

FREE

FREE

Author: Sam Usher Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2019

Boy and Grandad take care of a little bird. When it gets better, Grandad puts it outside, but it keeps hopping back into the house, following Boy wherever he goes. Boy wonders what kind of bird it is. An eagle? An ostrich? A bird of paradise, perhaps? He wants to keep it, but Grandad says it must return to its natural habitat in the wild where it can spread its wings and be free. And so begins an exhilarating journey into the rainforest! The first in a new quartet of enchanting picture books where a boy and his beloved grandad discover the wonder of the natural world.

FREE

FREE

Author: Sam Usher Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/09/2019

Boy and Grandad take care of a little bird. When it gets better, Grandad puts it outside, but it keeps hopping back into the house, following Boy wherever he goes. Boy wonders what kind of bird it is. An eagle? An ostrich? A bird of paradise, perhaps? He wants to keep it, but Grandad says it must return to its natural habitat in the wild where it can spread its wings and be free. And so begins an exhilarating journey into the mountains. The first in a new quartet of enchanting picture books where a boy and his beloved grandad discover the wonder of the natural world.

Storm

Storm

Author: Sam Usher Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2018

It's blowing up a storm, and a boy and his grandad decide it's the perfect weather for kite-flying. There's just one problem - first they have to find the kite. Their search brings up lots of wonderful memories of previous times together, but when they finally make it outside, their adventure really takes off!

Storm

Storm

Author: Sam Usher Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2018

It's blowing up a storm, and a boy and his grandad decide it's the perfect weather for kite-flying. There's just one problem - first they have to find the kite. Their search brings up lots of wonderful memories of previous adventures together, but when they finally make it outside, their adventure really takes off!

Rain (Mini Gift)

Rain (Mini Gift)

Author: Sam Usher Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/04/2018

Sam wants to go out but it's pouring with rain, so he and Grandpa decide to stay inside until the rain stops. Sam drinks hot chocolate and reads his books and dreams of adventures while Grandpa gets on with his important paperwork. Grandpa seems to have a VERY important letter to write. Then that very important letter has to be posted, despite the rain and floods. As they finally go outside, Sam and Grandpa have a magical adventure. Rain is the follow-up to the acclaimed Snow; and is the second title in a four-book series based on the weather.

Sun

Sun

Author: Sam Usher Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/06/2017

It's the hottest day of the year, hotter than broccoli soup, hotter than the Atacama Desert, hotter than the surface of the sun. It's just the right kind of day for a boy and his grandad to go for a picnic. But as the sun beats down, Grandad keeps having to stop for a rest, and by the time they find the perfect picnic spot, some pirates have beaten them to it. Good job they have enough food to share... Sun is the third title in Sam Usher's acclaimed seasonal series, following on from Snow and Rain. Combined sales of Snow and Rain total over 70,000 copies.

Sun

Sun

Author: Sam Usher Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2017

It's the hottest day of the year, the perfect day for a boy and his grandad to set off on an adventure - and the perfect day to share a picnic with pirates!

Refuge

Refuge

Author: Anne Booth Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/11/2015

The Christmas story and what follows: the fleeing of Jesus, Mary and Joseph from Herod's soldiers to Egypt. This is a book with timeless crossover appeal and a message that couldn't be more relevant.

Snow

Snow

Author: Sam Usher Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2014

Every child loves a snow day - no school and snowball fights galore! But a boy has to wait for his grandad. Trying to hurry him up, he tells Grandad all the other kids have gone to the park . . . and all the local dogs . . .and all the zoo animals! Only when they finally arrive does Grandad see that his grandson was telling the truth - and both of them get stuck in having fun on their snow day!

Snow

Snow

Author: Sam Usher Illustrator: Sam Usher Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2014

Every child loves a snow day - no school and snowball fights galore! But Sam has to wait for his Grandad. Trying to hurry him up, Sam tells Grandad all the other kids have gone to the park... and all the local dogs... and all the zoo animals! Only when they finally arrive does Grandad see Sam was telling the truth - and both of them get stuck in having fun on their snow day!

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