This is my second book with Nosy Crow and the National Trust and the second in my nature almanac series. Written by the fantastic Anna Wilson, this guide to the year takes you through each month and provides facts, activities and information to inspire children (both big kids and regular kids) to get outside and experience the wonderful world we live in.
As this book is the second in the series and as a lot of the information about the natural world (surprisingly) does not change year on year, this project was more of an update for me. It required about 30% of the illustrations as the first project as a lot of them were being re-used. The time scale was the same as the first book which was so nice as it meant I had a lot more time to work on the colour art. 2019 was a bit of a baptism of fire into the world of Children's non-fiction and as I've since learnt, not that typical. Having 6 months to produce a 200-page illustrated book is rather ambitious. Having the same timeframe to produce 30% of the content felt like luxury this time around.
I love illustrating vegetables and plants so these spot illustrations for the month of April were great fun to do. This year I grew geranium, lavender, strawberries, french beans and nasturtium. Maybe I'll do more of them next year...
This time around we decided to use some different hand lettering for the opening spread, rather than the cursive script of last year. I quite like it! I'm happy the alphabet I created for it is getting lots of use.
Since illustrating this spread I've been keeping my eye out for butterflies in the summertime. I'm rubbish at remembering which one is which, so it's handy to have a guide to hand!
As always, Anna included loads of great recipes in this edition. I had fun making the nettle soup (pictured above). A tip: thick gloves are needed while handling the nettles and while the sting goes away once in contact with boiling water do make sure the nettles have been properly submerged before trying one......just saying.
I love drawing crowds of people having a good time. It was so much fun to draw this procession.
If you've picked up a copy of the book (available in all good bookshops) please let me know what you think and if you've tried any of the activities in the book. I'd love to hear from you!