Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Meeting Kim Lewis

Last Saturday, we went to Tatton Park in Cheshire. The weather was very changeable and we did get a bit wet at one point, but overall, it stayed dry and was fairly warm.
We went to see the exhibition of Kim Lewis's artwork from her children's books and also, to meet her at her book signing event in the farm there.

The artwork is beautiful. You can see the love that goes into the work with every stroke of coloured pencil, so much detail in each picture. As well as the pictures, there are two display cabinets containing props that she used to create her illustrations. Kim very kindly explained to my children how she goes about the process of creating the books.

For each book, Kim makes a little black and white mock-up, some as small as A6 size. She explained that the look of the book as a whole is very important - how the pictures and text fit together; whether the picture is in a frame or not; where the gutters are; and how the page turns fit into the story. All of these things affect the feel of the story and that is why a mock-up is needed so that she can test each story in its book form. The original artwork for the cover of The Shepherd Boy is on exhibition and Kim also explained what she had to take into consideration when she drew it. There had to be space for the barcode, the title and the publisher's bumf on the back. All in all, my children received a very good, impromptu lesson on book production. Thank you, Kim :)

I loved to see the props she used for her artwork as it is a great encouragement for children to realise that many artists draw from observation. My favourite prop was the hand-sewn quilt that Kim Lewis had made to draw the illustrations for her book A Quilt for Baby . She told us that this had lead her into quilting as a hobby. It's not a book I've read, but having seen the quilt, I really want to read it :)

I've previously sent Kim a copy of Picture Book Explorers ~ Floss and her response was "I am completely amazed by the amount of detail in your Picture Book Explorer about Floss!". She told me that she is planning on using it with her grandson when he is a little older, so all you Explorers out there should know you will be in good company :)

It was lovely to meet Kim Lewis, such a friendly, informative lady who took the time to talk to my children all about her work and books. What a great way to top up our explorations of Floss :)

The Kim Lewis exhibition is on at the Farm at Tatton Park until Friday, 22nd August 2014. It's well worth a visit. There's also a Little Baa trail to follow, caps and crooks for dressing up and a maize maze where you can find four of Floss's lost puppies. We really enjoyed the sheep racing and had our money on Little Baa to win ;)


  1. What an exciting day for you all. I love her artwork - who wouldn't! If anyone reading this hasn't read one of her books I suggest that they do so and grab a copy if the corresponding Picture Book Explorers from you.

    Thank you so much for linking up to the #homeedlinkup

  2. Thank you Prudence for your recommendation :) Kim Lewis is a lovely lady and I'm so glad we had chance to meet her.
    Thanks for organising the #homeedlinkup :)

  3. Wow, my children would have loved to have met Kim Lewis-just a bit far for us though! We are looking forward to using our first Picture Book Explorer unit soon, not a Kim Lewis this time though.

    1. It was very exciting to meet her :0) She is an artist in residence at The Hearth Arts Centre in Horsley, Northumberland. I think they have an annual open weekend when you can meet the artists. I hope you and your family enjoy using Picture Book Explorers :)