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Jason Cockcroft was born in New Zealand, and raised in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He graduated from Falmouth School of Art in 1994 and has been working as an illustrator of children/s books ever since. Jason has been nominated for the Kate Greenaway award and he won the inaugural Blue Peter Book Award in 2000 for his work on Geraldine McCaughrean’s A Pilgrim's Progress and was the illustrator on the original covers of the final three Harry Potter novels. He is also an accomplished watercolour artist and portrait painter. When he's not drawing and painting, he's usually drinking tea and staring out of the window at nothing in particular. He's very happy to live in a beautiful city that sounds like church bells, smells like chocolate and is invaded by Vikings all year round.
Mermaids Beattie, Zelda and Mimi are absolutely fabulous! Their second adventure streams by, full of underwater hi-jinks all driven by friendship and fun. The little mermaids are in the Crocodile Kingdom (it’s in the middle of the Indian Ocean) where nothing is quite as it seems. Meanwhile, on land Paris, self-described Gadget Queen, has discovered a plot to destroy the mermaid world. With gorgeous illustrations by Jason Cockroft too, this is stylish, irresistible reading for anyone who’s ever imagined themselves with a tail. If you’ve got young readers in the house, send yourself a crabagram reminder to get a copy. Required reading for fans of Sibeal Pounder’s Witch Wars series or The Little Mermaid.
In a nutshell: gentle, heart-warming story of friendship and ghost animals The second book in this charming new series takes us back to Penhallow Hall in Cornwall. It’s the new home of ten year old Polly, who is now friends with some of the Hall’s unusual ghosts, including two wolfhounds, Rex and Magnus. They’re not the only ghost animals at Penhallow, and together they meet the spirit of a feisty little Pekingese called Li-Mei, who has a secret and quite sad history to share. Holly Webb tells the story with just the right mixture of adventure and wistfulness, and this will be a very satisfying story for young readers. Jason Cockroft’s beautiful and atmospheric illustrations make this even more appealing. There are more ghost animals in Claire Barker’s Knitbone Pepper series, and readers would also enjoy The Snow Sister by Emma Carroll. ~ Andrea Reece
An unusual pet leads to all sorts of excitement and fun for a little boy and his dog in this charming picture book by Jason Cockroft. Children will love the idea of having a dinosaur to look after, and in a range of beautifully observed and illustrated domestic scenes, we see a little boy coping with breakfast, a trip to the park, bath and bedtime. New parents will understand exactly how the little boy feels, and his struggle to keep his dinosaur happy and clean will resonate with anyone who’s spent a day caring for a toddler. This fun story is perfect for sharing. ~ Andrea Reece The Editor at Nosy Crow says: “I love dinosaurs and this book is perfectly pitched for dino-mad preschoolers. The wry humour is perfectly understated and there’s a brilliant counterpoint between words and images that children AND parents will love.”
In a nutshell: lonely little girl makes friends with ghostly animals Polly and her mum are leaving London for Cornwall. Their old home has very sad associations after Polly’s father died in an accident. Mum has a new job as house manager at a stately home, Penhallow Hall. They both love it from the start, and the house seems to take to Polly – magically the statue of a huge wolfhound at the hall’s entrance comes to life for her, and becomes her friend. There are more ghosts at Penhallow, including a boy Polly’s age with a tragedy of his own to deal with. Despite themes of loss and loneliness this gentle story will leave readers happy and hopeful. Polly’s ghostly friends are a comforting, reassuring presence, linking past and present, proof that time heals. Jason Cockcroft’s atmospheric illustrations are simply gorgeous. There are echoes of Tom’s Midnight Garden in Polly’s story and readers could move on to Penelope Lively’s A Stitch in Time or Emma Carroll’s The Snow Sister. ~ Andrea Reece
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