Monday, 2 February 2015

A Spot of Bother • Picture Book

I have a new picture book coming out this Thursday!

A Spot of Bother is illustrated by my longtime collaborator Vanessa Cabban and published by Walker Books. The story is a follow up to The Pig’s Knickers and features the same cast of characters including the rather self-centred Pig. In this story Pig is horrified to discover that his spotless appearance has been spoiled by a cherry stain. His friends try to help, but the more they try to clean the spot, the bigger it gets.

I knew as I was writing The Pig’s Knickers that I would want to revisit the characters, but my original intention was that each of the subsequent stories would be centred on a different animal. So the first follow-up story I wrote was about Sheep rather than Pig. However my publishers at Walker books didn’t feel that the Sheep story was quite right, so I wrote another story, this time with Goat as the central character. Once again Walker felt that the story fell short of the mark. So for the third attempt I returned to Pig and fortunately it turned out to be third time lucky!

Pig’s behaviour is as over-the-top as ever in this second story. When a squashed cherry leaves a bright red stain on his backside, he declares it to be a “monstrous misfortune”. But things go from really-not-that-bad to genuinely awful as Goat, Cow and Sheep try to help Pig rid himself of the ever spreading spot.

Here's a trailer for the book.

Vanessa did another great job on the book's illustrations, deftly capturing Pig’s emotions as he goes from satisfaction to despair and back again. Here are a couple of spreads.

I thought that the perfect activity sheet for this book would be a Spot to Spot.

Click image to download activity sheet

This is the seventh book that Vanessa Cabban and I did together and I'm extremely sad to say that it will be our last as Vanessa passed away shortly before Christmas. She was a good friend and a terrific illustrator to work with and I will miss her greatly.

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