Thursday, 19 December 2013

Rockpool Illustration Showcase

 As publisher and creative director, 
and a few other roles, at Rockpool Children's Books, 
I've begun to showcase some of the illustrative content of our books. 
We're not a huge publisher by any means, and don't have a massive list, 
but what we have got is of high quality both in story telling and illustration, 
and that's down to Sam, Heather, me and everyone else who has shown 
faith in Rockpool Children's Books and whose books 
I will work diligently with until published....
'But we in it shall be remembered - We few, we happy few, 
we band of brothers' ( actually sisters in this case )
...and if I'm now starting to quote Shakespeare 
I think it's time I departed, stage left. 
I hope you enjoy the work.
As we say, 
'Great Stories, great pictures, great books!'

Portfolio Pages - Sam Walshaw

Portfolio Pages - Heather Heyworth

Happy Christmas!

Rupert Annual Cover 2014

For 77 years children young and old have looked forward 
to their Rupert Bear Annual on Christmas day. 
I'd like to share the cover and endpapers 
of the 78th annual 
and wish you all a very Happy Christmas 
wherever you are!

Portfolio Pages - Stuart Trotter

Portfolio Pages - Stuart Trotter

Portfolio Pages - Stuart Trotter

Portfolio Pages

To highlight the quality 
of illustration in our books, 
Rockpool Children's Books will begin 
posting our Portfolio Pages.
These will feature the book cover and choice
samples from within.
To begin....


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Rupert 2014

 As the new 2014 Rupert Annual is now
in the shops, work is well underway for 
next years I'm pleased to say.
So once again I'm back in Nutwood, 
as you can see!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Sam's wonderful work for Rockpool!

The quality of Sam's work is excellent, as
shown on this collection of books 
she has both written and illustrated 
for Rockpool Children's Books!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Northern Echo

As the Little Football Fan goes global, as shown by
the response seen in it's Facebook stats,
it's been viewed by people as far afield 
as Australia, Thailand, 
Bangladesh, Vietnam...
 Mark Williams the author and 
Stuart Trotter the illustrator were interviewed by
the Northern Echo.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Little Football Fan - iPad!!!

The Little Football Fan is now available
for download to the iPad!
It looks wonderful 
and we hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

35 Years!

Linked In have just kindly pointed out
that I've been in the illustration industry
for 35 years! Where has the time gone?
Where has the hair gone?

Monday, 7 October 2013

The Little Football Fan Kindle Fire version is here!!!

Great news!!! 
At last 'The Little Football Fan' is available for the Kindle Fire! 
The version for the iPad will follow shortly.
Download the book, enjoy the book!

 amazon-The Little Football Fan ebook 

 Congratulations Mark, and thank you for your patience!!! 
Stuart, Publisher and Creative Director, 
Rockpool Children's Books.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Little Soccer Fan

With more and more people liking Little Football fan, 
I would like to reassure you that the iPad and Kindle HD versions 
are currently in the process of being shouldn't be too long now. 
Meanwhile, the version for the US market is now done, 
the Little Soccer fan, 
and subject to approval by our publisher over there, 
will be up and running soon 
for the enjoyment of the American children!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Happy Cat!

A dancing cat, a happy cat,
Splashing in the lane,
He'd been to see Fred Astaire,
'Dancing in rain'.

Fab illustration by 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Schools sign up to charter

  On Thursday 9th May I was asked to present a very worthy
Young Carers Charter to one of the schools local 
to where I was born in County Durham. 

There are 175,000 known young carers in the UK,
and many more who are young carers but are unknown, 
who care for a family member
for one unfortunate reason or other.
A young carer is someone aged 18 or under who helps
to look after a relative who has a disability, illness, 
mental health condition or drug or alcohol problem.
Having read the Charter, it is to be applauded in it's thoughtfulness, 
understanding and compassion shown towards young carers 
who may be performing difficult 
but necessary tasks in their home environment–tasks beyond 
what are expected of children so young.

The Northern Echo

TWO schools have been rewarded for supporting pupils 
who have caring responsibilities at home and others are being 
encouraged to follow their example.

Chilton Primary School and Woodham Academy, 
in Newton Aycliffe were this week presented 
with copies of the County Durham Young Carers Charter.
Both schools have worked with Family Action Durham Young Carers 
to create a supportive environment for those youngsters 
who help to look after loved ones.
Glynis Newby, 
educational development worker with Family Action, said:
“One in 12 children is a young carer so we want 
all schools in County Durham to sign up to the charter, 
it involves simple inexpensive steps to make 
the live of young carers better.”

To sign up to the charter each school built an environment 
where young carers and their families feel safe, 
accepted and understood and raised awareness among staff 
and pupils of the pressures some young carers may face.
Young carers should then know they can turn to 
someone at school for help, be it emotional or practical.

Children’s book illustrator Stuart Trotter, 
originally from Ferryhill, 
 presented Chilton Primary School with its award yesterday 
(Thursday, May 9).
Mr Trotter, whose work includes illustrating 
the Rupert Bear annuals since 2008, 
Postman Pat and Kipper books, said:
“To throw a comforting and supporting arm around pupils 
and families has to be applauded.”

By Catherine Priestley, 
Chief Reporter Northern Echo.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

How picture books boost your child's vocabulary...

From the Daily Mail
PUBLISHED: 1 May 2013

How picture books boost your child's vocabulary: 
 Stories with no words help because toddlers ask 
questions about what they see.
  • The study looked at 25 mothers as they read to their children at bedtime
  • Mothers use a more sophisticated form of language when they picked a picture book compared to a book with words

Books with no words are actually best for boosting 
children's language skills, a study has found.
Want to help your child develop their vocabulary? 
Pick a picture book for their bedtime story.
Books with no words are actually best for boosting 
children’s language skills, a study has found.
Experts said parents who turn to wordless storybooks 
end up spending time discussing the pictures and answering 
their toddler’s questions – exposing them to complicated words.
The study looked at 25 mothers as they read their children a set of bedtime stories. 
Psychologists from the University of Waterloo, 
Canada, found the mothers used more advanced  
language when they picked up a picture book 
compared to a book with words.
Study author professor Daniela O’Neill said: 
‘Too often parents will dismiss picture storybooks, 
especially when they are wordless, as not real reading or just for fun. 
But these findings show that reading picture storybooks 
with kids exposes them to the kind of talk that is 
really important for children to hear.
‘Mums frequently used more forms of complex talk when reading 
the picture storybook to their child than the picture-vocabulary book.’
She added: ‘Books of all kinds can build children’s language 
and literacy skills, but they do so perhaps in different ways.


Tuesday, 30 April 2013

UK Publishing

 I came across this on the UK Trade & Investment website...makes you proud!

 Publishing: marketing message 1

The UK publishing industry has one of the most productive outputs of any publishing industry in the world and makes a significant commercial contribution to UK plc.
  • Publishing is the UK’s largest media sector, employing more people and adding more to the country’s bottom line than any other.
  • The UK publishing sector has a combined turnover of some £19 billion.
  • Of all the UK's creative industries, publishing makes the largest contribution to the country's Gross Value Added (GVA). In 2009, it generated nearly £11.6 billion in GVA. (1)
  • The UK publishing industry employs over 243,800 people in 9,700 businesses. (1)
  • The UK publishing industry is one of the most successful in the world for the breadth, depth and quality of content it creates, as well as the multiple ways in which that content is brought to market.
  • In terms of turnover, the UK has the second-largest publishing industry in Europe and one of the largest in the world. London is considered one of the world’s leading publishing centres.
  • The UK book publishing industry is one of the most productive in terms of new title output, producing well over 150,000 new titles a year.
  • 151,969 new book titles were published in the UK in 2010, the highest number in Europe. (2)
  • The UK accounted for 29 per cent of new European book titles in 2010, compared to 16 per cent in Germany, 8 per cent in Spain and 7.6 per cent in France. (2)
  • UK publishers sold an estimated 739 million books in 2010.
  • The UK is a leading publisher of newspaper and periodicals titles.
  • The UK customer publishing industry is the most developed in the world. It is worth over £904 million and is expected to grow a further 15 per cent by 2012. (3)
  • More than 7,500 magazine titles are published in the UK. (4)
  • Consumers spend approximately £2 billion on UK consumer magazines each year. (5)
  • An estimated 1.4 billion magazine copies are circulated/distributed in the UK each year. (6)
  • The demise of the UK’s Net Book Agreement in 1997 enabled best-selling books in the UK to be sold at heavily discounted prices and prompted the entry of overseas booksellers into the UK market.


All facts and figures sourced from The Publishers Association, apart from:
1. Creative Industries Economic Estimates, DCMS, December 2011
2. European Book Publishing Statistics 2011, Federation of European Publishers
3. Association of Publishing Agencies
4. Brad, 2010
5. KPMG, 2010
6. ABC J-D, 2010

and there's more... 

Publishing: marketing message 2

The UK publishing industry is the most successful exporter of its kind in the world.
  • Publishing accounted for the highest proportion of UK exports of creative services in 2009 (£2.63 billion), making up 3.1 per cent of the total. (1)
  • The UK is the world’s largest exporter and re-exporter of books by value.
  • UK publishers exported 293 million books in 2010, worth over £1.25 billion.
  • Almost half of the UK book publishing industry’s revenue is generated by export sales.
  • The value of book exports from the UK grew by £51 million (4.3 per cent) in 2010.
  • The value of UK book exports rose every year between 2006-2010, and was 23 per cent higher in 2010 than 2006.
  • Export sales account for 40 per cent of total UK publisher sales.
  • Key export markets for UK publishers include the US, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and Canada. Exports are also growing strongly in the Middle East.
  • UK authors and illustrators - from JK Rowling and Ian McEwan to John le Carré and Quentin Blake - are read and celebrated around the world.
  • Three of the four highest-grossing movie franchises are based on British books: James Bond, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Between them, they have grossed over US$13 billion to date.
  • The UK book publishing industry earns substantial revenue from the global licensing of publishing rights, subscriptions to electronically delivered content and the remittance of profits from overseas subsidiaries.
  • UK publishers have a much more broadly based export business in books than the US, its closest competitor. 57 per cent of their exports go to the top 10 markets, as opposed to 83 per cent for the US.
  • The UK publishes over 20 per cent of the world's scholarly journals.
  • Scientific and technical books and journals published in the UK can be found in classrooms, libraries, laboratories and offices on every continent.
  • UK academic publishers can sell as much as 70 per cent of their output in overseas markets.


All facts and figures sourced from The Publishers Association, apart from:
1. Creative Industries Economic Estimates, DCMS, December 2011

...and even more... 

Publishing: marketing message 3

The success of the UK publishing industry has had a global impact, driven by the dominance of the English language.
  • The international importance of the English language gives the UK publishing industry a powerful competitive advantage. New opportunities for UK publishers in non-English-speaking countries are being created as English increasingly becomes the preferred second language in many markets across the globe.
  • UK publishers have well-established networks of partners in overseas markets.
  • The UK has outstanding educational publishers. UK-based publishers have been very successful in adapting or developing materials for educational systems worldwide.
  • The UK is home to a world-class academic publishing industry, both in terms of the content it creates and the innovative access models that it has pioneered. The UK is an international leader in the production of Scientific, Technical and Medical (STM) research journals and databases, professional data and training and business-to-business information.
  • The UK is an international leader in children’s fiction, picture books and children’s information publishing. JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series is arguably the world’s greatest children’s publishing success story of recent years.
  • UK publishers have played a leading part in the development of the international market for work in English from other cultures, such as African, Caribbean and Indian literature.
  • The annual London Book Fair is one of the world’s leading events for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Some 23,000 publishers, booksellers, literary agents, librarians, and media and industry suppliers from over 100 countries attend the fair every year.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Prince...a few more thoughts..

Not much more I'm afraid..replaced the dog, jollied up the bear
and there's a frog where the mouse was...this will all become clear 
when the book is finished!
This could be quite long by the time it's finished!

Friday, 26 April 2013

The Prince....

Rockpool Children's Books 
published 'the Princess who couldn't sleep' in 2008. 

It ended on a cliffhanger...which I won't
disclose...but I'm delighted to say, a sequel is
in production as I type!
I thought it might be of interest to share the 
the 'rough's' process of the cover.
This is a development process so what you see may not
be the final cover...but then it might be...

This was the initial rough several years ago...

...that became the has to be flexible as
a publisher and as you can see, by request, the gender changed.
But now, we've written a new 'Prince' story, that suits
a prince much better....

This cover is work in progress, and is by no means finished,
and, as I said, could change...but I think drawing it
in the same composition as his sisters book
will create a 'family likeness'. 
As time goes on and the cover develops, I'll
post more illustrative developments!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Potty Book

 The Potty Book is also new for 
The London Book Fair.
No long winded potty training in this book, 
just brightly coloured potties and fun rhyme 
that will delight, inspire, 
and gently coax the newest of pottygoers.
With reusable stickers 
to help celebrate potties 
and the little people who use them!

The Little Bookworm

‘The little Bookworms favourite treat,
  Is eating books, sheet by sheet,
  BIG books, small books,
  bath books, toy books,
  All are yummy, and good to eat!’

 New title for the Bologna and London Book Fairs,
the Little Bookworm is a delightful picture book...about books.
Written by Stuart Trotter and Illustrated by Sam Walshaw,
it follows the gastronomic tastes of our Little Bookworm
as he munches his way from front to back on all manner
of books. Gentle rhyme, and bright clean illustration this
is an excellent book.

London Book Fair 2013

Rockpool Children's Books will be attending,
but not exhibiting at, the

Should you wish to meet to discuss any
of our books, please contact me through 
the Contacts page on our website
or, on Monday call or text

Rockpool Children's Books
wishes everyone an enjoyable 
and successful book fair.

Updated Catalogue

The Rockpool Children's Books full fat Catalogue, 
as opposed to
the Rockpool Children's Books Lite version,
that you may have taken home from the book fair,
is now updated and ready for viewing as a PDF.

 I still need to add Nosey Barker, which I'm currently
working on...that will be done in the next few weeks.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Bologna Children's Book Fair 2013

 17 hours! 05.30 to 22.30!
Actually, no ones fault but the
very cold weather in
this part of Europe causing travel delays.
Arriving safe and sound was a miracle
following the third leg of my journey...
transfer by minibus, courtesy of Lufthansa,
from Milan to Bologna. Mad.

 However, something positive did come out 
of my long delay in Dusseldorf, I wrote, 
at last, the sister, or rather brother, book to
'The Princess who couldn't sleep'.

Bologna was a good fair despite not
preparing as much as I'd have liked 
because of Rupert commitments.
 Took several new titles which were well received.
The re done 'The Potty Book', 'The Little Bookworm',
'Parrot Island', the 'Neandersmall' series.
I'd like to thank Sam for all of her hard work for
Rockpool Children's Books pre Bologna
 and for submitting all those years ago.
Her books look wonderful, and her
 talents as an author and illustrator
are beginning to bear fruit as her titles, Maisey and the Pirates,
Neandersmall, and Little Fairies, sell worldwide.
Sam's distinctive style brings a quality feel to Rockpool's brand.
Long may our association remain.
Following Paul Simpson and Inkebooks hard work,
 the ability to offer
our books in several formats digitally.
I was able to demonstrate this with Heather's 
'Riding on an Elephant', showing the paper version,
epub3 on the iPad, epub on the iPad,
and versions in the Kindle app on the iPad 
( I don't have a Kindle or Kindle HD ),
and on the iPhone Kindle app.
The files also work in B/W on the ordinary Kindle.

I'd like to thank Christiane Jansen and Daniele Doglioli,
our agents and our sub agents, Bella and Tony of CA Link in Beijing,
for their continued work on our behalf, and I look forward
to further success in China in the following months.

Spent some time with David Bennett, Boxer Books.
I always enjoy David's company and have done so since he first
commissioned me back in the late 80's as an illustrator.
David's boundless enthusiasm for publishing is infectious,
and his depth of knowledge of this industry
seems bottomless! It's his fault I'm doing this!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Rockpool Children's Books- Licensing?

Rockpool Children’s Books - UK publisher of children’s picture,
board, apps and ebooks - owns the rights to a rich source of quality
characters, which it is seeking to license. The charming Little Fairies,
football-mad Little Football Fan, Polar White the polar bear or sparky
Maisey and the Pirates could enhance many diverse products,
such as apparel, homewares, stationery and plush. Many such
properties originate in publishing and go on to boost sales in a
vast range of retailing applications.

are exhibiting at the 
Hall 25 B84.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Neandersmall - Bish Bash Books

 Further to our new blog entry earlier,
here is Bish Bash Books Mail Chimp
post about Neandersmall.


As posted mid 2012, New York based Bish Bash Books 
took Sam Walshaws Neandersmall...

...and produced the Neandersmall and the egg ebook. 
The digitisation was done by Inkebooks, here in the UK, 
and the results were splendid. 
So good in fact Neandersmall and the Egg
has been selected as a finalist for Ebook - Children's,
  and the winner will be announced 
at the Publishing Innovation Awards luncheon at this week’s
Digital Book World Conference in New York.