Thursday, 30 June 2011

A Roman Rescue

Well, it seems "A Roman Rescue" (Templar Publishing) is reprinting after only 4 months which is great news!
The first in this series of graphic novels for 7-10 year olds by Kelly Gerrard, has also been chosen for the Summer Reading Challenge.
I'm stuck in to book two "An Egyptian Escape" which is well on the way to completion. Kelly's writing is so good it is a real pleasure to illustrate these books, despite the enormous amount of work involved!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

New York Times

How very exciting, a lovely review for "Meow Said The Cow" in The New York Times. They review very few children's books, so I gather this is a bit of a coup!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Drawing with my dad in Venice, 1989.

My father could draw like nobody else I know. He was an enormous source of inspiration to me.
This is a drawing of him that I did during a holiday in Venice in 1989.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

"I Love My Daddy" by Giles Andreae

"I Love My Daddy" by Giles Andreae (Orchard Books)
Whilst illustrating this delightful text by Giles Andreae, I came up against a challenge.
How would I illustrate Daddy being "kind" and "funny"?
After wrestling with this problem for some time, the answer came to me in the middle of the night.
Here is the result.

Something For Father's Day! The Guardian. Great review for "I Love My Daddy

Recent releases and an old favourite for young readers

I Love My Daddy, by Giles Andreae, illustrated by Emma Dodd (Orchard, £10.99). 2+
The title says it all in this ebullient, if unsurprising, sequel to I Love My Mummy. The predictability is easily compensated for by the remarkable emotional intensity of Emma Dodd's bold illustrations, as they capture shared moments of pleasure between a baby and father as they romp and tease and finally end the day with a cosy bedtime story and snuggle. Giles Andreae's rhyming text provides a pleasingly bouncy accompaniment.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Lovely review from "Bookworms" in the US

Easy does it ...

It's not easy. But it needs to look that way.
That’s one of the cardinal rules of creating picture books. The words are often simple, and the pictures frequently have a loose, casual flow. Like a teenager laboring for an hour in front of the bathroom to make his hair look just untidy enough, writers and illustrators hide a lot of effort under a picture book’s easygoing veneer.
Two masters of the deceptively simple picture book have new work out this spring: author-illustrators Emma Dodd and Patrick McDonnell (perhaps best known as the cartoonist who created “Mutts”).
From McDonnell comes “Me … Jane” one of the year’s best non-fiction picture books, an illustrated biography that depicts primatologist Jane Goodall’s childhood (ages 3-6, Little, Brown, $15.99). McDonnell’s spare style and expressive faces are paired with some of Goodall’s own drawings, as well as a subtly colored collection of vintage scientific drawings. The story is straightforward and humorous, an inspiring look at a girl who defied expectations about proper careers for young ladies. The book wraps up with a short biography and a note from Goodall herself, encouraging young readers to tackle the world with the same gusto she’s shown.
“Meow Said the Cow,” Dodd’s tale in verse about farm animals suffering a bit of an identity crisis, is just as effortless – but entirely different in focus (ages 3-6, Arthur A. Levine Books, $16.99).
With poetry that strolls along at an pleasant pace, it tells the story of a sleepy-head cat whose magic spell aims to quiet the rooster’s crowing. “He puffed out his chest and opened his beak/and out came the tiniest, ‘squeak, squeak, squeak!’ ”
Of course, if the rooster now has the mouse’s voice, there’s no telling what other sort of mayhem is in store, and Dodd uses sunrise-bright illustrations to highlight the silliness of the situation – and the predicament cat finds himself in. It’s easy to read, easy to laugh at – and easy to love.

My first piece of published work.

In 1991, The Guardian Newspaper approached Central Saint Martin's illustration department with a competition. The brief was to illustrate an article to be published in the newspaper the next day. The winner would not know until they saw their illustration in the paper. So when I saw somebody reading the paper on the tube that morning and realised that the it was my illustration that had been printed, I can still remember the thrill!
I just resisted the urge to nudge the man next to me and say "I did that!"
I still get the same thrill today whenever I see one of my books in a bookshop, or better still, being read by a child.
As prize I received the sum of £250. Probably about the same as you would be payed today, twenty years later!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

The latest Adventures of Charlie and Bandit.

This time our friends find themselves in ancient Egypt. I'm well on the well to finishing this, the second title in the Adventures of Charlie and Bandit series "An Egyptian Escape".
The first book, "A Roman Rescue" has been chosen for the 2011 Summer Reading Challenge which is very exciting!
Fabulous author, Kelly Gerrard, is busy dreaming up their next action packed adventure, as well as working on other exciting projects.

Shhhhh! Keep it under your hat....

This cheeky chap will be making an appearance in 2012. Watch this space!

A little about me...

Well, here goes! I hope you find my blog of interest.
First, a little about me. I was born in Surrey in the United Kingdom, to a family of designers. My parents Robert Dodd and Fay Hillier met at the Royal College of Art in the late fifties, where they studied textile design. Their work as designer's is represented in the V and A permanent collection.
So the house I grew up in was full of drawing and discussion, and as a young child I used to help colour up designs, remove cow gum, etc.

I can never remember wanting to be anything other than an artist, as this piece of school work shows. (What a swot I was at age 10!)
So I achieved my ambition and completed a foundation course at Kingston Polytechnic and a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration at Central Saint Martins School of Art.
I started my degree in Graphic design, only switching to illustration fairly late in the course, and I think this has informed my illustration style ever since.
I have now been working as an illustrator since I left college and now focus mainly on children's book. In 2005 I started to write as well as illustrate books, which is wonderfully satisfying.