Tuesday, April 30, 2019

"Brian the Brave" - a bookwrap

An interview with Jane Porter - the illustrator

Meet Brian

Brian is a happy-go-lucky sheep who loves everyone and wants to play and have lots of friends. 


"Brian The Brave"
Authored by Paul Stewart
Illustrated by Jane Porter

* Age Range:  2-5
* Hardcover:  32 pages
* Publisher:  Flyaway Books
* Pub. Date:  August 6, 2019
* Language:  English

Editorial Review

"Stewart uses a group of sheep friends to relay messages of tolerance, acceptance, and nonjudgment...The illustrations are distinctive and vivid; fans of Eric Carle will find the textured, collagelike pictures reminiscent of his classic work." --Kirkus Reviews

Unwrapping some fun illustrations for you

Unwrapping the Story

Brian is a free-spirited little sheep who loves to play and loves everyone to be included in that playtime.   But sadly he soon finds out that the other sheep don't have the same tolerance level as he does.  They will only play with sheep who they pick and they make the rules as to who gets that privilege.  Unfortunately Brian doesn't fit their expectations and he is shunned from playing.  

Poor Brian goes off broken-hearted and alone.  Rejection is a hard pill to swallow.  Then a mean, blood-thirsty wolf appears out of nowhere and Brian knows he needs the help of the others to ward off this dastardly villain.  He warns the other sheep of the grave danger that is among them and bravely awaits to see how they will respond.  Will they rally together and fight off this treacherous beast?  Will their differences dissipate and they all come together as a mighty sheep-force-to-be-reckoned-with and put their petty differences aside?  

This story is about friendship, teamwork, inclusivness, kindness, and bias based on race or language.  It is sure to spark conversations around those themes at home or in classrooms.  The illustration are colourful, playful, expressive and enrich the text visually. The book celebrates our uniqueness and what a beautiful thing that can be.  I highly recommend this book. 

Storywraps Rating - 5+++HUGS!!!!!

Meet the author

Paul Stewart is a highly regarded author of books for young readers – from picture books to football stories, fantasy and horror. Together with Chris Riddell he is co-creator of the bestselling Edge Chronicles, which has sold more than three million copies and is available in over twenty languages. They have also collaborated together on lots of other exciting books for children of all ages. The Far-Flung Adventure series includes the Gold Smarties Prize Winner Fergus Crane, and Corby Flood and Hugo Pepper, both Silver Nestle Prize Winners. Then there are the Barnaby Grimes books, two Muddle Earth adventures, and the sci-fi Scavenger and fantasy Wyrmeweald trilogies. For younger readers there is the Blobheads series, while for the very young, Paul has written several picture books, including the Rabbit and Hedgehog series, In the Dark of the Night and, his latest, Wings.

From the illustrator 

On April 4th my new book with Paul Stewart, Brian the Brave, will be published by Otter Barry Books. I’ve collaborated with Paul once before, on Wings!, and it was lovely to be asked to work with him again.
The new story is all about sheep – but it’s also about much more. Brian is a happy-go-lucky sheep munching grass, when he meets a new friend. All is well until more and more sheep arrive, and start forming cliques based on the colour of their wool and the shape of their horns – causing much sheep-based unhappiness all round.
Brian wanders off despondently, but a chance encounter with a wolf brings out the hero in him, and he persuades all the sheep to work together to defeat the fearsome predator.
All the illustrations are made from collage, using scraps that I painted and applied textures to – the scratchiness of the wolf comes from monoprint rubbed with a sticklebrick, and the colours range from gouache to household emulsion, ink and oil pastels. When I first saw the text, I asked Paul where he thought it should be set, and he said ‘Yorkshire’. I’m very fond of Yorkshire, so that was a good starting point for me, and I had fun sneaking in lots of wildlife such as lapwings, moths and red campion. 
It’s a great story to read out loud to young children – I’ve tested it on my under 5s art group and they were fascinated by which sheep was which. There’s a handy guide opposite the title page.

Brian The Brave will be published in the US later in the year by Flyaway Books, and is out now in Denmark as Marius den Modige!

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