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Ian Beck is a familiar name to the Doubleday/Corgi lists with his previous successful picture books. A freelance illustrator for over twenty years (including such notable artwork as the record cover for Elton John's Yellow Brick Road album), Ian turned to writing and illustrating children's books on the birth of his own first child.
Q & A with Ian Beck
1. When did you first start to write stories or draw?
I drew incessantly as a child, but came late to writing stories.
2. In general, where do your ideas come from?
From life or from other stories
3. What made you write this book?
The main character of Tom Trueheart popped into my head and refused to go away, he demanded to have his stories told.
4. What have you enjoyed most about working on this book?
The process of trimming changing and cutting the book from the first draft, and working with the editor and designer on the whole book, design, illustrations, layout etc.
5. What is your earliest memory?
Being sent to bed early in summer and looking enviously out of the bedroom window at other children playing happily in the sunlit street.
6. What did you enjoy most at school?
At school I enjoyed Art classes and drama, I managed to appear in two Shakespeare productions at school which gave me a lifelong love of Shakespeare.
7. Of all the places you have lived, where have you felt most at home and why?
Where I live now in the western suburbs of London surrounded by the song of Blackbirds and near the Thames.
8. Is there a particular holiday destination that you have visited that you would love to return to?
A little seaside town in France called St Jacut De La Mare.
9. Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your pets, past or present?
We have no pets at the moment, although we have had two very nice Hamsters over the years.
10. What would you say is your greatest talent?
Noticing things in detail and long term patience.
11. What new skill – it can be anything at all – would you love to learn?
Although much too old I would love to surf the beaches of Cornwall.
12. What is the most unusual job you have done?
Singing as part of a cabaret group in restaurants in Soho.
13. What is your most treasured possession?
A beautiful and immaculate copy of Now We Are Six by A A Milne which was given to me for a birthday present many years ago.
14. Is there a particular book, author, or film that had a great impact on you in your childhood?
Book: The Just William stories by Richmal Crompton. Film: Forbidden Planet.
15. What are your hobbies?
Listening to film music and going to the cinema as often as possible.
Poems, short stories, personal letters, newspaper articles, scripts, photographs and paintings are just some of the elements of this astonishing collection, with cover and artwork by renowned illustrator, Ian Beck. Among the many contributors are Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, Sir Andrew Motion, Miranda Hart, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz, Eoin Colfer, Antony Beevor, Emma Thompson, David Almond, Dr Rowan Williams, Richard Curtis, Joanna Lumley, Raymond Briggs, Shami Chakrabarti and Sir Tony Robinson. Royalties from the publication will be spilt between the Royal British Legion and projects for soldiers' children and families at SSAFA.
Interest Age 5-8 Ian Beck has created a new fairy story with all the magical sensibility of a classic. Princess Opal lives on the island of Ashes, where cold grey sea washes up against the granite rocks, and it’s always raining. Everything in the kingdom is grey, weather, landscape, people. Then one day a boat arrives, a bright red boat. The young man on board has a special gift, everything he touches is flooded with colour. The princess recognises this as a blessing and the two young people fall in love, living colourfully ever after. The book blooms as the story unfolds, the illustrations bringing bigger, bolder splashes of colour as the pages turn. This joyful tale will make readers look at the world around them with different eyes. ~ Andrea Reece About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for 5-8's. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers.
For toddlers who love nursery rhymes, for their parents who may have forgotten the words, and for everyone who enjoys singing, clapping, tickling, and laughing, this comprehensive anthology of charmingly-illustrated rhymes is a must-have addition to any child's bookshelf!
Award-winning Philip Pullman has long treasured this feisty and magical story from The Arabian Nights. When the young Aladdin rubs a dirty old lamp a genie appears and offers the boy three wishes. Riches? Happiness? Excitement? Three wishes should bring Aladdin everything he wants. But, as he soon discovers, wishes are more complicated than they sound. Philip Pullman captures all the magic and excitement of this perennially popular story in his vivid retelling which is perfectly matched by Ian Beck’s illustrations. The result is a book to treasure.
Interest Age 5-8 A generous helping of fairy dust fuels this delightful adventure with wonderful illustrations by the author. Cobweb is a very new fairy and she makes a complete mess up of her very first job! Tasked with delivering three wishes to the woodcutter she does fine with the first two but manages to lose the third! Now there is some powerful magic running riot. Will Cobweb ever be able to get the magic back on track? About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for 5-8's. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers. Particularly suitable for 5-8s with reading age of 6+ ------------------------------------------------- In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The First Third Wish a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'The book was a great and exciting adventure... I recommend the book because of its amazing adventurous plot.' Scroll down to read more reviews...
5+ readers. Award-winning Philip Pullman has long treasured this feisty and magical story from The Arabian Nights. When the young Aladdin rubs a dirty old lamp a genie appears and offers the boy three wishes. Riches? Happiness? Excitement? Three wishes should bring Aladdin everything he wants. But, as he soon discovers, wishes are more complicated than they sound. Philip Pullman captures all the magic and excitement of this perennially popular story in his vivid retelling which is perfectly matched by Ian Beck’s illustrations. The result is a book to treasure. The Lovereading Comment: Ian Beck's lavish illustrations summon to mind the fantasy world of traditional folk tales transporting the reader right into the heart of Pullman's mesmerising and full-blooded retelling. Lots of jokes pay tribute to Aladdin’s hugely popular pantomime traditions and there are lavish embellishments to the familiar story of Aladdin, his mysterious ‘uncle’, the Jinnee and, of course, the magic lamp. All is told by Pullman in glorious tongue-rolling language that makes both the mystery and the magic strangely credible. This is a perfect gift which will captivate the entire family.
When Buck is smuggled from his beloved home in the Santa Clara Valley and forced to work as a sled-dog in the frozen wilderness of the Yukon, he must forget the long, lazy Californian days and face a life of constant toil and danger under the whip of cruel or inept masters, where survival itself must be fought for. But with his primal instincts stirred, how long can Buck resist the call of the wild? Set at the time of the Klondike Gold Rush, The Call of the Wild is one of the greatest evocations of the natural world, and perhaps the best example of London's famously urgent and vivid style. This edition also includes 'Brown Wolf', 'That Spot' and 'To Build a Fire' - three Yukon tales that demonstrate London's mastery of the short-story genre.
Kimball O'Hara, the orphaned son of an Irish soldier, spends his childhood on the bustling streets of Lahore, begging and running errands in order to survive. One day he meets an old Tibetan lama, and he decides to accompany him on his travels across the Indian Subcontinent. After falling into the hands of his father's old regiment, however, Kim is separated from the lama and sent away to school. There, his natural flair for espionage is spotted, and he soon finds himself among the majestic peaks of the Himalayas, playing a crucial part in the secret service's confrontation with Russia known as the Great Game . With its peerless evocation of the teeming cities, breathtaking landscapes and diverse cultures of late-nineteenth-century India, Kim is widely considered to be Kipling's masterpiece and one of the greatest novels written in the English language.
Part wolf, part dog, White Fang learns to survive in the freezing wilderness. As well as being forced to confront the harsh realities of nature, the young cub experiences the cruelties of humans - but when his fortunes change, will love and civilization set him on the path to happiness? Set in the Yukon territory of Canada during the gold rush of the 1890s, White Fang is a rollicking tale of adventure which has enchanted generations of readers since its first appearance in 1906 and become a timeless children's classic.
The peaceful town of Hamelin is overrun with rats: they are raiding larders, hiding in cupboards, sneaking into bed linen and driving the locals to despair. Desperate for help, they turn to the mysterious Pied Piper who promises a solution. But when the Piper falls out with the mayor, he takes away more than the townspeople ever expected. A wonderfully vivid interpretation of the story, which tackles trust, pride and revenge. TreeTops Greatest Stories offers children some of the worlds best-loved tales in a collection of timeless classics. Top children's authors and talented illustrators work together to bring to life our literary heritage for a new generation, engaging and delighting children. The books are carefully levelled, making it easy to match every child to the right book. Each book contains inside cover notes to help children explore the content, supporting their reading development. Teaching notes on Oxford Owl offer cross-curricular links and activities to support guided reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Princess Bella has been snatched from her secret garden by a terrifying monster, leaving behind nothing but a glittering golden ball! Not even the bravest knights in the kingdom can save her from the huge, dark, fire-breathing creature with enormous wings, a great swishing tail and deadly claws. But clumsy Ned the stable boy is determined to succeed where the gallant knights have failed. Can he defeat the dragon and get the girl? Or will he let the chance to become a hero slip through his butterfingers? Join our unlikely hero and his animal friends on their daring quest across the plain, through the woods and into the mountains to find out . . .
All children grow up, all except one. The magical story of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, has captivated generations of children. Rose Impey's sensitive adaptation of the story makes it accessible to younger children, while retaining the spirit of the original J. M. Barrie text. Ian Beck's enchanting illustrations superbly bring to life this much-loved fantasy - a valuable addition to every child's bookshelf and a perfect companion to the forthcoming film Pan.
Teddy is guarding the picnic, but suddenly the wind goes whoosh. Before he knows it, Teddy is floating high into the sky with Lily's kite. Soon the wind drops and Teddy tumbles down into the trees but he realises he's all alone...or is he?
Digory is an ordinary, quiet, dreamy and gentle boy. He likes playing his lute, singing songs and picnicking in the forest - quite unlike all the other boys in his village of Batty-by-Noodle. When he stumbles upon a large tooth while poking about in the sticks and nonchalantly tucks it in his hat, little does he suspect the awesome welcome he will get on his return to the village that day. Hailed as a hero for slaying a dragon (which, as we know, he never did) and hurriedly knighted for his courageous act, Digory is sent off on his deaf horse, Barley, to be a chivalrous knight and perform chivalrous deeds. Digory is not really a dragon slayer but, in spite of this fact, will he be able to live up to his name, save the day and the damsel of his dreams?
Imagine how Jacques feels when he learns that his older brothers have inherited the mill and the donkey, and all he's got is the CAT! Well, he's not fed up for long, because he soon discovers that Puss is no ordinary cat... Not only can he talk (which is pretty unusual for a cat), but he's also got brains. And he's got a plan - a plan that involves Jacques, a Royal Princess and a very large fortune! However, there are some things that Puss hasn't included in his plan, such as a very hungry Ogre, some sleepless Ghouls and more than a touch of magic . . .
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