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Pam Smy studied BA (Hons) Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University, going on to study the MA in Children's Book Illustration in 2001. As a student, Pam was awarded 3rd place in the Macmillan Prize, a project that led to her first picture book contract with Egmont Books in 2003. Pam has worked for various UK publishers and she has illustrated for authors such as Julia Donaldson, John Agard, Arthur Conan Doyle and most recently worked on books by Linda Newbery and Siobhan Dowd. Pam's books are published in various countries around the world including Britain, Germany, USA and Australia.
Pam Smy's beautiful two-colour drawings in Siobhan Dowd's The Ransom of Dond announce her as a leading children's illustrator and the astonishing blend of words and pictures takes us all into that timeless world of story.
There’s magic and joy in this gorgeous picture book. Little Merrylegs is a riding school pony, clumping round the stables wishing his life was more interesting. He longs to be as tall and beautiful as the racehorses he watches from his paddock, and when his friend Feathers reminds him how happy the children are to ride him, Merrylegs doesn’t listen. Then a fair comes to town, and a magical encounter with the carousel horses changes Merryleg’s view of himself forever, his stumble clop turning into a clippetty trip. It’s a lovely, truly satisfying story of friendship and self-belief, perfectly told through Pam Smy’s illustrations and gentle text. ............................ An enchanting story of friendship and self-belief illustrating you can see the world with new eyes. Merrylegs is a bored riding school pony just plodding around the school, not noticing the delight of the children who ride him. It takes his friend Feathers to show him the Carousel in a local fair to inspire him to new heights. It takes a while, and the magic of the night for Merrylegs to realise he can be the pony that strides out, going from ‘stumble, clump, clippety clomp’ to ‘snippety trip, clippety trip, trip, trot, trip’! His dreams have inspired him and he’s now the pony enjoying all the children riding him. This is a beautiful simple storybook showing you can achieve your dreams – a truly inspirational message. The illustration style is clear and accurate with lovely details to spot, the ponies look like you really could ride them. Spot the deliberate changes from frontispiece to end papers – reinforcing the story message. Pam Smy uses so many different techniques in her books I do hope she continues to use what I assume are lithographic processes. The lovely rhythm of Merrylegs strides, repeated often in the text, will make this a read aloud favourite for classes and children everywhere. Tricia Adams
Full of really useful tips and fun writing activities this is a great book for any youngster who enjoys telling stories. As well as breaking them down into the component parts that make up a successful ghost or mystery story, the book is packed too with suggestions on how to plot, create character and build suspense. There are lots of examples of vocabulary and phrases to make your writing more exciting and effective and a selection of tempting story starters too so there’s no excuse for not putting pen to paper and creating some thrilling stories. You can fill it in, scrapbook like, and atmospheric illustrations by Pam Smy add further inspiration. ~ Andrea Reece You might also like the companion guide, Write Your Own Adventure Stories by Paul Dowswell.
November 2013 Mega Book of the Month Suffused with all that is best in story-telling traditions, this poignant story with a pleasing twist in its telling is perfectly and briefly told by the late, award-winning Siobhan Dowd and perfectly complemented with illustrations by Pam Smy. To bring good luck and prosperity to the community, the thirteenth child born to any woman will be sacrificed to the Dond at the age of thirteen. As the younger of a pair of twins Darra has always known her fate. But as the day draws closer Darra uncovers a truth that will change her destiny forever. ~ Julia Eccleshare A Piece of Passion from Pam Smy, Illustrator of the Ransom of Dond When I left the offices of David Fickling Books in April of 2011 clutching the typescript of The Ransom of Dond I had no idea of the delight the tale was going to give me. I had read and loved Siobhan Dowd's previous, powerful novels, but still I hadn't quite expected the sensation I would have on first reading it of being swept into a new landscape and straight into the heart of Darra, the main character. On those pages was a story that combined fear, hope, love and loss with the timeless magic of folktales. It was a story unlike any other I had read and I knew I had been given a very special text indeed. This feeling of excitement stayed with me as I worked on the illustrations for the book. I have tried to recreate in the illustrations that initial feeling of being carried along into another land and another time, and I hope that new readers of The Ransom of Dond feel this too. A Piece of Passion from David Fickling, Publisher, David Fickling Books I asked the literary editor of a national newspaper a while back whether long or short books were more likely to get a review. He said, to my evident surprise, that, other things being equal, a short book would get the nod. I had thought he’d say it was nothing to do with the length, it was the content that counted. Instead here he was coming back with ‘Never mind the quality feel the width!’ And he continued with a slam for a winner, ‘nobody has any time nowadays.’ It will take you but a blissful half an hour to read through The Ransom of Dond, but then something miraculous will happen. You will be given a gift. You will want this old seeming story to be longer. The words of Siobhan Dowd will dazzle like clear water in sunlight. You will linger and stop dead, gazing at the astonishing illustrations of Pam Smy. See how Pam effortlessly establishes herself as one of the leading illustrators of the UK , of the world. That moment of recognition is happening now, here, before your very eyes. But her pictures and Siobhan’s words are of then, in a place beyond. You will be transported. Back across the centuries. To a thirteen year old girl, a curse, and a dark god. And your gift? Time.
Prize-winning author Linda Newbery has written a lyrical and imaginative story about the power of believing in the unknown. Lucy loves spending time with her grandfather as he potters around his garden. He introduces her to Lob, his mysterious helper in the garden. Is he real or not? Grannie Annie scoffs at the idea of the hidden green man but Lucy believes and, when things begin to go wrong, she knows she can turn to the mysterious Lob for comfort.
Calypso and cricket come together in the Island's Carnival week and Riccardo Small is torn between his two loves. He has been chosen to sing in the Calypso Monarch Final, competing with the best singers on the Island. But his team mates at Calypso Cricket Club are playing the most important game in their history on the same day. Amidst the Carnival pan bands, the masqueraders and the stick-fighters Riccardo discovers why the singing competition is called 'Calypso War'. It's tough going on the cricket field too - with injuries, fires and disappearing players producing more than enough puzzles for captain Bashy to solve...
Follow the Swallow is a delightful tale of friendship and exploration from Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, and illustrated by Pam Smy. Chack the blackbird and Apollo the swallow are fledgling friends. Apollo explains that he is practising flying to Africa - but Chack doesn't believe him. Chack tells Apollo that the blossom on his favourite tree will eventually turn into orange berries - Apollo doesn't believe him. But, with the inevitable turning of the seasons, both birds learn to believe the other - and cement their friendship forever. Follow the Swallow is a delightful storytime experience for children aged 2+. Perfect for kids who loved Night Monkey, Day Monkey and Spinderella. Julia Donaldson is the best-selling author of The Gruffalo, Stick Man, What the Ladybird Heard, and The Scarecrows' Wedding. She lives in Glasgow with her husband and spends a lot of time touring the country doing readings - and singing! Pam Smy's work has appeared in the anthology Magical Tales Of Ireland as well as numerous other compendiums and educational texts. Her best known work is The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Step into the dark and sinister world of super-sleuth Sherlock Holmes. Sir Charles Baskerville has been found dead in the grounds of his Devon home, his face a frozen picture of horror and fear. The only clue is the footprint of a terrible beast. Locals blame the diabolical curse of the Baskervilles - and the legendary monster that haunts the moor. Can Holmes and Watson solve the case before Sir Charles's heir meets the same grizzly end?
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