Monday, 5 March 2012

On the Journey to a Published Book (oh, and a bit of a Giveaway too)


Hello

I've been deeply immersed in my painting and drawing work of late.  I've been spending time working on both this farm animal inspired scene and some line and wash work (featuring rabbits) to send to my agent, not to mention filling my sketch pad with frenzied doodles and notes! 

Since my Focus Meeting which I wrote about in my last post, I've found myself being very motivated and driven, and the ideas for these new pieces of work have seemingly appeared out of nowhere.  This, I believe, is the gift of sitting down with yourself and eeking out what it is you really want to be doing with your life.  I'm a firm believer that the Universe will deliver the goods if you only focus upon what it is you actually want to be doing, believe that it's going to happen and then do what is necessary to get things moving (by which I mean that sitting around dreaming on a soft cushion isn't going to deliver the goods, you have to use a bit of action to get the ball rolling, if you get my drift).


This might sound like hocus pocus to some, but I have living proof that magic and miracles occur when we invest energy and action in ourselves and our dreams.


Anyway, I decided at my Focus Meeting that I needed to invest some energy into getting myself a children's book to illustrate so I contacted my agent last week and told her that I was in the process of creating some new work for her portfolio.  My agent is a very lovely, but very busy lady so I was delighted to hear back from her a few days later with some very uplifting news.


She has had a lot of interest in my work from many different publishers, but due to the economic climate, they're just not producing as many books as they were before and so therefore, competition is high.  This was a huge boost in two ways:  One, I'm delighted that publishers are liking my style and what I do.  Two, it means I have to go that extra yard to make sure that they choose my stuff for their books over all the zillions of other illustrators who are all gunning for the same work!


I love a challenge.


At the end of the email, she mentioned that she had been chatting with a publisher the day before who liked my work very much, and had asked if I had any ANIMAL THEMED WORK they could see which might be useful...


...I nearly fell off my chair.

You may call it serendipity or a miracle (because I could have started to paint anything when you think about it).  I'm still on my journey to getting a book to illustrate but I know a sign that I'm on the right track when I see one!

I'll keep you posted as things progress :D

Meanwhile, Spring is springing here all over the place, and it put me in the mood to host a little Giveaway!





SO!

One lucky person can win a fine art print of one of my favourite pieces; 'Home' as shown above.  The print will be titled and signed by myself.
  
To be in with a chance of winning it, all you need to do is leave me a comment under this post telling me what your favourite children's book was when you were small and why.  A winner will be drawn next Monday.  Please feel free to share this post with your friends and family by clicking on the Facebook, Twitter and Blog buttons below.


Good luck to you, and have an enormously happy week!


Love Julia x x x


**edited to add:  I am absolutely blown away by all your kind comments regarding my journey to getting a book to illustrate - I hope I haven't confused anyone into thinking I've actually got a book to do yet, as I  haven't - but I hope to one day - I just wanted to clear that up and make sure I hadn't given the wrong impression anywhere in my post.  Thank you anyway, for all your heartwarming positive messages, I will definitely let you know as and when things progress!  You're all so lovely x x x

142 comments:

  1. Hi Julia

    Love the painting, it's fabulous.

    My favourite book as a child without a shadow of a doubt was The House at Pooh Corner - and I still love it now, as does my daughter. He is a timeless character (as are all his friends) and his adventures make me smile and feel relaxed about life...oh if only I could find a house in the Hundred Acre Wood! x

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  2. Wow Julia imagine that, your paintings in a book! I hope it all goes well. My fave books were the Beatrix Potter stories and I especially liked Jemima Puddle Duck! xxx

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  3. Ooh that's great news - good luck with your book and yes I believe that the Universe will deliver the goods if we create space for it to happen and start the progression towards our goal.

    My favourite book was James and the Giant Peach - must have read that sooo many times.

    Have a good Monday x

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  4. Hi Julia ~ fab news about the interested publishers ~ the Universe is listening, oh Yes!! My favourite book as a young child was Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever ... it was all about the illustrations for me, and still is, I can still lose myself in Richard Scarry's animal filled illustrations, so much detail and busy-ness. Your paintings will look fab in a children's book, and I can't wait to see it happen :)

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  5. That is my favourite print of yours too, that cottage just looks so welcoming! My favourite book as a child was the Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton, I think I just loved the idea that you could travel to different lands at the top but there was always the worry that they would not get back!
    Kandi x

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  6. Wow! Julia that is amazing news. I got so excited for you reading your blog post.

    My favourite childrens story was and still is Peter Rabbit. I hugely admire Beatrix Potter and am very inspired by her work and of course where she lived (as you well know lol!).

    Make sure you keep us posted on your progress =D xx

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  7. your paintings would be perfect in a book Julia, fingers crossed for you x I was a Beatrix Potter fan, I loved the drawings especially the bunnies xoxo

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  8. My Favourite book was the magic faraway tree by Enid Blyton. I loved to imagine this world in a tree and longed for a big tree in my garden!!

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  9. Hi Julia,Good luck with the book publishing work, keep at it, I'm sure you're not far away, it is hard work though, I'm doing my first one!!! Yeee haaa. :) Love the print and the new piece at the top of your post.
    My favourite books were all of Enid Blytons Famous Five, I powered through the lot, so enjoyable.

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  10. Good luck with the book, Julia!
    I liked the Pippi Longstocking and other books by Astrid Lindgren, I found them so funny.

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  11. Great news Julia! Well done...I think I need a focus meeting!
    So many favourite childhood books... learnt to swim bribed by remainder of the set of Mr Men Books; stayed up late with a torch secretly reading James and the Giant Peach; Eid Blyton- where do i start...loved them and the lashing sof ginger beer and midnigh feasts, adored the Flower Fairy and Beatrix Potter illustrations... ahhh! Enough reading nostalgia....

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  12. Great news about the illustrations. Very Exciting!

    I loved Rchard Scary books. We had several. Great pictures -so much going on! My children love them too.

    Kate

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  13. I really agree with the need for action along with dreams!

    My favourite book was probably Charlie and the Chocolate factory, Charlie's impossibly slow nibbling of the wonka bar and the amazing chocolate factory have always stayed with me! I also really liked the old fashioned writing and pictures in those original huge board books of Barbar, I think they had been my mother's when she was little.

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  14. Wow that is fantastic news, I bet you can't wait to get that dream come true! Hhhmm my fav book, well I used to like the classics like Cinderella etc but my fav was a rather odd choice really. It is The Butterfly Ball by Roger Glover. I used to adore the illustrations, every time I looked at it I could see something new :-) x PS I would love to win that gorgeous print for my Mum or Sis :-)

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  15. Congrats on the book success! My favorite book when I was little was a Little Golden book called "Hiram's Red Shirt." He can't stand to get rid of his favorite red shirt, so he keeps repairing it. So cute and classic!

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  16. Love the new pictures Julia and good luck with the book publishers! My favourite book when i was small and still is, is Richard Scarry's ABC....I learnt to read with it and now my son is doing the same...we both love the illustrations and the challenge of finding Lowly worm on every page....although after 20+ years i do feel like im cheating a little xxxx

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  17. Congratulations! I can't remember that many books from when I was young but I loved reading all the Mick Inkpen (so aptly named!) books to my boys because of the beautiful illustrations.

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  18. You are so talented Julia. It must be such a great feeling to get to see your artwork in print. The Janet & John books stick in my mind from when I was learning to read. I was looking at one in a Past Times shop a few weeks ago and they brought back a happy and nostalgic feeling :) I used to feel so grown up to be able to string a few words together, especially when I brought my reading books home and could show my Mum & Dad how clever I was lol. Best regards :D x x

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  19. it sounds exciting and your illustrations are lovely. My favourite book as a child was 'the tiger who came to tea' But the book I most enjoyed reading to my children was 'Mr Rabbit and the Lovely Present' by Charlotte Zolotow and one of my favourite illustrators Maurice Sendak

    Kate x

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  20. I loved the Milly Molly Mandy stories. It was a simple life and I loved the little map at the start of the book ~ I so wanted to live in that little village!

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  21. Cripes, busy here ain't it.

    I suppose my favorite book as a child was 'The tree that sat down' Beverly Nichols, so many memories, closely followed by 'Danny, champion of the world' - Roald Dahl, of course...

    nice painting mate - ttfn.

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  22. What a beautiful painting! When I was a child I just loved anything by Enid Blyton - Famous Five and the Five Find-Outers were my favourites. Even to this day I'd love to find a secret passage in an old house and find the answer to a mystery behind the walls!

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  23. Hi Julia, love your new painting it is great.

    My favourite books as a child were the Chalet School series by Elinor M Brent-Dyer. There are about 60 books in the series, so I used to spend lots of time looking for ones I hadn't got at local jumble sales and nearly new sales. They got me through some difficult times. Whenever I was having a bad time with the parents I would imagine I was a boarder at the Chalet School with all my favourite characters! xx

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  24. hi julia

    love the painting it is stunning would so love to win it already have a spot to haang it planned

    my favourie book and still is is the hungry caterpillar by eric carle love the big bold pictures in those beautiful colours and love the way the text flows and involves the child in the story as they can guess what he eats next as you can tell my kids are forced to listen to this story on a regular basis xxx

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  25. It has to be Rebecca's World by Terry Nation. A teacher read it to us at school and I read it myself afterwards. I spent years (pre-internet) scouring 2nd hand bookshops for a copy, it's been out of print for years. Thankfully I did eventually find one before the internet was common or I'd never have been able to afford one. Terry Nation wrote Blake 7 and several DrWho episodes, he invented the Daleks.
    It's a fantastic story of adventure, environmentalism, friendship, superhero's, rubbish spies and bunions. The illustrations are fantastic, I always loved the treasure maps with the riddles on the fly covers.

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  26. I just love the painting and would love a chance to win it. I loved all the Beatrix Potter books and Charlotte's Web.

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  27. Congratulations!
    I loved all the Enid Blyton books as a child - my favourites were the Famous Five and the Adventure series (Castle of Adventure, Island of ..etc!)

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  28. My favorite book was "The Real Mother Goose" I was given it as a gift from my Aunts when I was about 4 yrs. old. I treasured it and still have it though it is quite worn from my own children's use. I loved the illustrations and memorizing the rhymes. You are living my dream. When I was young with 3 young children I took courses nights and I wanted to write and illustrate children's books and that was my theme paper. I ended up as a librarian for several years and though I still draw and paint, Never got past the dreaming stage... Wishing you every success, Kerrie

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  29. Hi Julia, I love coming to visit you, I always come away uplifted! That particular print has always been my favourite so this giveaway I'm particularly excited about. When I was a child I loved the Little Grey Rabbit by Alison Uttley, such a magical little world where each little illustration would be perfectly placed in a cicle or tiny square on its own page facing the text. Something about that I loved!
    Jess xx

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  30. One of my favorites as a child was Peter Rabbit. Later, in high school, we read Peter Rabbit in Latin class ... It was just as cute in Latin :) Your sheep are adorable and convey such sweetness!

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  31. May it come together for you! Tell them you already have an overseas market, I'll buy one!
    I think someone should write a book around your paintings. They speak volumes already. Looking at them I can feel that they are part of an ongoing story.
    I read a lot as a child, so many that I loved, and that I now get to read to my little ones. My first very favorite book was and is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

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  32. Congratulations to you, I love your paintings.

    My favorite book from when I was a child is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I took away all sorts of lessons from this book and gave a copy to my daughter when she was old enough.

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  33. Conratulations! What a fantastic achievement. My fave book by far was "A Dog So Small" by Phillipa Pearce. I remember my teacher Mrs Bell emphasising the words "a dog sooooo small" when Ben was pleading for a dog, any dog, a dog soooo small!! How I too wanted a dog but wasn't allowed one. I bought the book for my son who is now 12 but still smiles at it. Ahhhh, good memories, good feeling. Thank you for reminding me! Paula x

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  34. Wow Julia, exciting times my friend!
    My favourite books when I was a wee lass were by Judith Kerr, loving both The Tiger who came to Tea and Mog stories. It was the illustrations I loved and what you remember. That could, sorry will, be you!!
    Ali X

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  35. Congratulations, your deserve it all. My favourite books were The Milly Molly Mandy series (does that show my age?).I used to read and read them until the books almost fell apart. I could just get lost in the stories and I could read them by myself without help!

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  36. you must be so exited, congratulations, any publisher would be lucky to have your beautiful work...and I'm with you about the Universe, it's fantastic and so simple! Favourite book, hard to choose but Anne of Green Gables because she was so feisty...and I loved reading her to my daughter and still love to read it myself x

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  37. Huge congrats to you, I hope to be reading a children's book with my granddaughter in the future with your name clearly printed on it.

    I was an Enid Blyton girl.

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  38. by the way what a pleasure to read about everyone else's fav books, takes you back...

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  39. Little Grey Rabbit's Christmas was my favourite. Still have it.
    I love your pictures, they're clear and simple.
    Pam

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  40. Oh, I love this print! :)
    Probably because I recently moved to my new home in Sicily, where I live with my boyfriend, whose father is a sheepherd (so all those sheeps are aorund me, sometimes!).
    My favourite book when I was a child? All Richard scarry's book :)

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  41. Hi Julia, love what you say about making things happen instead of sitting dreaming about them on a squishy cushion..my favourite book as a child was The Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse by Ursual Moray Williams, he was such a brave little horse! Best book I loved with my own children was Mr Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham, made us laugh so much!

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  42. How exciting Julia. My fave books were Milly Molly Mandy - because of the maps of her village - I even drew one of my village at that time! And The famous five by Enid Blyton because of all the adventures xxx

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  43. A Child's Garden of Verse by Robert Louis Stevenson. There were beautiful illustrations to go with the verses. I can still picture some of it. I must find out if it is still in my parents house and have another look at them :)

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  44. Hello!

    My favourite children's books were the Brambley hedge series. The beautiful little homes of the mice were comforting even though my home life was nothing like that. I loved how there were always things visible through the doorways, up high on the shelves, a glimpse of a staircase going who knows where.... I would always try to peek around the corners and p the stairs.
    I now have a toddler and bought the books for her - I was amazed upon re-reading them how much they have stayed with me throughout my adult life. It seems every decorating decision I've ever made as an adult has been subconsciously trying to replicate those little mouse houses!

    Your work is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.....

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  45. Well, I would just love to have one of your beautiful paintings so I hope I win!
    My favourite book was Heidi, I loved the idea of being cosy sleeping in the hay and having picnics with the shepherd boy on the mountains.

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  46. Hi Julia. Glad the Universe is responding to your request - all you really need to do is ask and act like it has already happened, which is exactly what you are doing. I had many favourite stories as a child, but LOVED Enid Blyton and in particular one I can remember called Tuppenny, Feefo and Jinks about three elves who got up to all sorts of mischief. Ah, such fond memories! x

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  47. Oh Julia, your news are so wonderful and exiting - I'm so happy for you!
    Thank you so much for sharing your lovely work! I love especially that with the sheeps!
    Like many others said, also I love Enid Blytons books and so many others! Can't remember the names but several with girls and horses.
    x Teje

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  48. Winnie the Pooh
    and
    Dr. Seuss

    (I really couldn't choose one)

    Pooh-for the friends as family and everyone was different but loved each other just the same
    and
    Seuss-because of the silly rhyming nonsense (but still a great message, as I found out later when I got old enough to understand)

    xoxo

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  49. Oh Julia that sounds amazing! I really hope it comes off for you. My favourite books were Lousia May Alcott's Little Women series and the Faraway Tree! x

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  50. After spending an hour looking at your paintings on your website, I decided that I really need to get off the computer! LOL My favorite childhood book was The Pokey Puppy. Poor puppy did not get any strawberry shortcake because he kept digging under the fence. I cried every time I thought about it.

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  51. After spending an hour looking at your paintings on your website, I decided that I really need to get off the computer! LOL My favorite childhood book was The Pokey Puppy. Poor puppy did not get any strawberry shortcake because he kept digging under the fence. I cried every time I thought about it.

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  52. After spending an hour looking at your paintings on your website, I decided that I really need to get off the computer! LOL My favorite childhood book was The Pokey Puppy. Poor puppy did not get any strawberry shortcake because he kept digging under the fence. I cried every time I thought about it.

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  53. After spending an hour looking at your paintings on your website, I decided that I really need to get off the computer! LOL My favorite childhood book was The Pokey Puppy. Poor puppy did not get any strawberry shortcake because he kept digging under the fence. I cried every time I thought about it.

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  54. I loved The Wind in the Willows, I still do and I am almost 44 years old.I love it because it's about true friendship. I also loved Winnie the Pooh, I especially loved the drawings. I still have those books and cherish them.

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  55. Good luck with the book. I love the picture, what a generous giveaway, thankyou. My fave book was Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown, it was hilarious and I had to hunt out a copy to read to my son. Sue

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  56. That is wonderful and very exciting! I love when life brings little signs like that to show you're on your right path.

    I loved so many books as a child and was constantly reading something new. Some of my favorites were the Little House on the Prairie series, Charlotte's Web, and the Ramona books. The writing in all of them was just superb and my fascination with Laura Ingalls Wilder continues to this day due to living in the same area as where she did.

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  57. Hi Julia.
    I have been reading your blog quietly and leaving ;) for for few months now. Shy of leaving comments but i love your painting so maybe i have a chance now.
    I live in Iceland and childrens books were mostly translated from english, danish and german books in the ´70 and ´80 when i was growing up. Other´s have written about Richard Scarry, Enid Blyton and Pippi Longstocking. I have read them all but my favorite picture book must be books by Gunilla Wolde and Alison Winn -Thomas goes out, is one of them I found on Amazon and is still being published. Simple pictures of children doing something every child goes through and can relate to - learning to dress, go to dentist and having siblings.
    Thanks again for lovely blog and best of luck with your book and warm thoughs from the snow in Iceland.

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  58. Hi, just love your work.
    my favourite children's book was Carbonel by Barbara Sleigh, I loved it so much I took it to school and persueded my teacher to read it for story time. it was followed by the kingdom of Carbonel I loved them then and still read them at least once a year. They are about a little girl called Rosemary Brown,( her mother was a seamstress as I am now) and she buys a broom and a talking, witches cat called carbonel,

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  59. My favourite was a book handed down to me by my aunt, called Ameliaranne and the green umberella. It is so beautifully illustrated (pictured by!) Beatrice Pearse and was published in 1920. It tells a funny but somewhat tragic story of a little girl who smuggles food to her poorly brothers and sisters inside a big green umberella, and I truly love the picture of all the little ones in one big bed with cups of hot gruel! Those were the days!:D

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  60. Hello Julia, your paintings are just so lovely!

    My personal favorite books were the Nancy Drew mysteries, but I did read anything and everything I could get my hands on. I read to my younger brother and sister as well. Their favorites were always Dr. Seuss. My son's favorites when he was younger were Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Color is so important in a child's book!

    Renee :)

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  61. That's such great news, Julia - I'll keep my fingers crossed that things come together well for you (you certainly deserve it!)
    My favourite book was The Secret Garden - I read it and re-read over and over again - I used to get completely wrapped up in the story, almost as if I was there in my head.
    Emily x

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  62. What a beautiful painting!

    When I was very small I loved the book of Brother's Grimm stories that my parents read to me. I was entranced by the idea of princesses, kings and queens. Good versus evil.

    I used to spend hours acting out little scenes inspired by the book. My favourite was to imagine the time when I would at last find out that my real parents were royalty and leave my home to live in a castle!

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  63. My favorite book (well series really) was Little House on the Prairie... and I am getting to enjoy them all again as I re-read them with my 9 year old.

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  64. I love your artwork~it's so whimsical. As a small child the books that stand out in my mind are any of the Richard Scarry books. I remember taking time to look at all the details. My kids all loved them as well. Some things are timeless!

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  65. Hi Julia

    My favourite book when I was little was Richard Scarry's Great Big Schoolhouse. I loved going to school. Then I became an Art teacher and STILL loved going to school. Now, with three young daughters, my copy of this book is still in use 35 years later!

    Thank you for your blog.

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  66. Hi, I absolutely adore your work, and a book with your art would be a winner, I'm sure!

    I've always loved books and I find it quite difficult to choose only one favourite but I guess the one I kept coming back to was Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking. I also adored other characters by the same author, but Pippi really 'spoke' to me because I was rather shy (and she definitely wasn't!). xxxx

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  67. So glad your focus meeting brought such wonderful, magical results Julia! Fingers crossed for the future.
    My favourite book when I was little was The Secret Garden, I loved the magical feel of it and the idea of a secret garden has stayed with me forever.

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  68. Hi Julia, fab news about the book, I wish you lots of success.
    My absolute favourite book as a child was Charles Kingsley's The Water Babies.I grew up in a Children's Home and how I yearned to be a water baby too and be mothered by Mrs.Doasyouwouldbedoneby! The follwing extract still makes my heart ache:
    'But she took Tom in her arms, and laid him in the softest place of all, and kissed him, and patted him, and talked to him, tenderly and low, such things as he had never heard before in his life; and Tom looked up into her eyes, and loved her, and loved, till he fell asleep from pure love.'

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  69. That is fantastic news... wow, your painting creations in a book! I always love looking at the illustrations in children's book, sometimes only bought the book for that reason! A favorite book when my children were growing up was called "Slinky Malinki, Open the Door" by Lynley Dodd. ps it would be an honour to hang your work in our home!!

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  70. Wow Julia, your Focus Meeting really worked for you.....good luck, I wish you every success.

    I don't really remember having a most favourite book.....I had loads of Little Golden Books which I loved sticking little pockets in the front covers and making little slips to pop in.....my very own little library.....when I was a bit older I loved Enid Blyton's Secret Seven series......then the Trixie Beldon series and Nancy Drew series.

    I love your paintings.....the "Home" one would be really special to win.....my Dad has a few sheep and sometimes needs to shepherd them along the road just like in your painting.

    Have a great day...... -xx-

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  71. Oh Julia - how absolutely wonderful to have interest from publishers - as you should 'cos you are amazing and excellent and awesome!!
    My favourite book was called 'I was walking down the road' about a little girl who finds lots of creatures and popes them in cages and then lets them all go - I had it memorised at the age of 4 and pretended at pre-school that I could read!!! I think the teacher saw through my cunning plan though!

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  72. Hi Julia,
    I'm a Spanish girl following you, I love your work and I imagine every of your illustrations in my favourite places :)

    My favourite story was no written in a book, it was one invented by my father. The main character were two brothers and they had loads of adventures. It is one of my most precious memories from my childhood. Thank you for bringing it back to me with your post!

    :)

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  73. A childrens book with your paintings sounds great.... I would buy it :-) !

    My favorite childrens books were (and still are) Astrid Lindgrens books about Pippi longstocking... beacause she was so independent and funny :-).

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  74. Hello Julia,

    I don't have a google account, so I guess I'll have to sign in as anonymous, mmm...

    My favourite book as a child was called (just simply translated) "My Teddybear" (by Maria Razusova-Martakova) - it is about the little Teddybear looked after by a little girl. She makes him a porridge, dresses him up, they go for a walk, etc. and it is all nicely written as a poem - and I still know it by heart :) My little daughter liked it a lot as well :)

    And I sooo loooove all your paintings :)

    Peace & Love,


    Maria Szucsova

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  75. Ooh, keeping everything crossed for you Julia!

    My favourite childhood book was Enid Blyton's 'The Folk of the Faraway Tree', I loved nothing better as a child than to curl up with a book & drift away to faraway magical lands! I still have it, in pristine condition! I really should read it to my youngest sons, though I think I'll need to change Fanny's name to Fiona!

    I LOVE this painting so am keeping my fingers crossed!

    Good luck with everything...

    Roslyn x

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  76. Hi - I would really love one ofyour prints.....and fully intend to acquire one in the not too distant future....my favourite book was the velveteen rabbit

    Catherine

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  77. Hi Julia,

    My favourite book as a child was Hairy Maclary, the different pictures of all the dogs made me laugh and I loved how each seemed to have their own personality. I was quite a book worm as an older child, choosing a specific favourite from that time would be very difficult, I was addicted to Enid Blyton's books like the Faraway Tree, infact any books with fairies, magic and a wild imagination really sparked my interest.

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  78. My favourite book was 'Matilda' by Roald Dahl. I used to read it over and over and wanted to be Matilda. I loved reading so much (and still do) and this book made reading seem cool somehow. I can't wait to read it with my daughter when she gets a bit older. xxx

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  79. Hello Julia, I'm really chuffed at the thought of you illustrating a children's book at sometime in the future. The 2 prints I've bought from you make me smile when I pass them in our hall and I think your artwork is all-encompassing in terms of accessibility. Good for you! :) I'm an avid reader, and always have been even when I was a very wee lass; I loved the Enid Blyton "Five Find Outers" mysteries, along with the Secret Seven and the Famous Five - I had a secret hankering to be Anne ;P. When I got a little older, my favourites were "The Secret Garden" and "Little Women"; both of which I still re-read occasionally today. I have 2 sons so they grew up with
    Thomas the Tank Engine, but I did manage to install in them the love of the Mr Men books, and hopefully a lifetime love of reading xx

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  80. Hi Julia, what a lovely painting.
    My very favourite book when i was young was Enid Blytons - Five fall into adventure - I re and re-read that book till it eventually fell apart lol

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  81. Well done, I don't comment on blogs too often (or I'd be there all day!) but this post made me smile - it's so nice to see someone happy and enjoying their work!
    I'd vote for pretty much every Enid Blyton book as my favourite, but there are too many to single out so I will go instead for 'What Katy Did'. Sorry not to keep to the rules and say exactly why I liked it, I just know that I did and I read and re-read it over and over - oh and 'What Katy Did Next' as well! Children's books are fab.

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  82. Lovely painting!
    My favourite childhood book was Enid Blyton The Adventures of Binkle and Flip - stories of two naughty rabbits! I still have it - although the cover is long gone and the pages all dog-eared and the paper browned with age!!

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  83. I love those little farmers with the chickens. I always had Rhode Island Reds while growing up as a child. That little picture reminded me of my Father and I feeding the chickens each and every morning before the rest of the family was up.

    As for my favorite childhood book was Make Way For the Ducklings. Purely because I loved the idea of little duckies running around Boston looking for a new home. As a child I made my mother read it over and over each day. Looking at the pictures and pointing out where I wanted to go 'To see the Ducklings mommy'
    Cheers
    and good luck
    Martha

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  84. For some reason I'd assumed you were already illustrating books. Look forward to any books featuring your work. I loved the Chalet School series,and I was so excited when I realised how many there were! Also a great Enid Blyton fan. Looking forward to sharing these and other favourites with my two girls as they grow up. Have made a note of a few books I'd forgotten from other readers comments too!

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  85. I Loved the Book I am David when I was younger, But now I,m all grown Up I Love The Butterfly Lion By Michael Morpurgo. It makes me cry every time I read it to one of my Children.

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  86. You are such an inspiring lady! I love your paintings and I love the way you are trusting the universe to provide what you need.
    My favourite books were anything by Enid Blyton then when I was a little older, about 11, the Secret Garden. Love Penny L in Dorset xx

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  87. Lovely Painting!! My favourite books as a child were Enid Blyton. I loved the Faraway Tree and the Wishing chair with all the mysterious land, fairies, pixies and goblins. I also loved her boarding school books and used to craze my parents to send me..I think it must have been the idea of the midnight feasts :)

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  88. Never mind if I don't win the giveaway as I already am very glad I have discovered your sweet colourful world and will be following it as regularly as I can!
    I am French, so I don't know if you know this book... It was a deep blue pastel drawn book, it was the story of a very proud owl that claimed it was the best hunter. One day it was tricked by other animals in the forest into eating the reflection of the moon in a pool... Afterwards, the owl had big round shiny eyes that had a greenish gleam in them...

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  89. (too funny 2 louises in a row!)

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  91. Hi Julia, I adore your artwork..just lovely! My favourite book as a child was also The Magic faraway Tree, with sulky and moonface and the new clouds which brought good and bad adventures! However my favourite book to read to my toddler is called The Snail Trail - just beautiful illustrations, with a simple story...blissful : )

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  92. Hi there! Your work is just amazing! I would LOVE to see it as a kids book! My favourite book apparently was The Little Red Hen... oh, except my mother always says it gave me nightmares so she had to hide it!!!! Go figure!!!

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  93. Hi, I love it around here and to think your having a awesome giveaway!

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  94. Sorry...had a difficult time posting and forgot to share one of my favorite children's books. Let Papa Sleep. I still have it and read it to my grandson.

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  95. Helen Bottrill6 March 2012 at 19:03

    hello Julia! Gorgeous gorgeous picture, I love it! My fave books when little just had to be anything by Enid Blyton, especially the famous five, and the faraway tree folk - my daughter Lauren is now reading them and it takes me back every time I sit and read them with her, she loves them just as much as I did! corr they don't make them like that anymore eh?! fingers crossed xxxxx

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  96. I always loved Paddington, bears were a childhood favourite & I found it so funny, as did my children when I read it to them. Good luck with finding a children's book to illustrate your work would be perfect for it.

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  97. Wishing you the very best of luck with a book deal ~ got fingers crossed for you over here!
    My favorite childrens book? Mmmmm, just one, huh?
    I guess it would be The Tale of Two Bad Mice. I was (and still am) entralled by the little mice, and the dolls house, the little plastic ham glued to the dish...*sigh
    Something magic about the secret lives of mice...
    And now, I will one day add the book YOU illustrate to my collection of favorites!
    :))))

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  98. I loved the Little Golden Books, especially the fairy tales. I'm lucky my mother gave me a quarter to buy a book when we went to town. Your artwork reminds me of the cozy, happy artwork found in the Little Golden Books.

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  99. Hi Julia,

    So glad I'm not too late to join in! My favourite book when I was little was a book of poetry - my mum read it to me over and over again. The only poem I really remember from it is one about cats that goes 'Cats sleep anywhere, any table, any chair. Top of piano, window ledge, in the middle, on the edge...' They still have the book and every time I go home to visit, I look at it!

    Great news about the interest in your paintings too, your lovely work will be snapped up by a publisher soon I know it! Jenny xx

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  100. Hmm... I thought I'd posted on here, but I can't see myself any more. So...

    Such motivating news! It sounds like a challenge for you to rise to - good luck, you'll be amazing!

    My favourite book as a kid was Stig of the Dump. I loved it and read it over and over again. I think Stig might have been my first crush *blushes*. I haven't read it for ages, as I lent it to a friend and I've never seen it again... I guess he liked it too :)

    Your post has made me want a new copy, so I think I'll hop over to ebay now.

    Love the painting - the print would look great in my lovely sewing studio :)

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  101. Hmm... I thought I'd posted on here, but I can't see myself any more. So...

    Such motivating news! It sounds like a challenge for you to rise to - good luck, you'll be amazing!

    My favourite book as a kid was Stig of the Dump. I loved it and read it over and over again. I think Stig might have been my first crush *blushes*. I haven't read it for ages, as I lent it to a friend and I've never seen it again... I guess he liked it too :)

    Your post has made me want a new copy, so I think I'll hop over to ebay now.

    Love the painting - the print would look great in my lovely sewing studio :)

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  102. Hi Julia,
    I just love reading your blog and looking at your latest paintings.

    The book that I remember most of all from my childhood 60+ years ago was Pookie and the Gypsies by Ivy Wallace. So wonderfully illustrated that I can remember every detail to this day.
    Pookie is a rabbit that can fly and there are a series of books about Pookie but this is the one that sticks in my memory. I don't know what happened to my book but if you have chance have a look at the cover on Amazon, please do. The book is out of print now but I'm toying with the idea of buying a second hand one!

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  103. Hi Julia,
    What a wonderful page you have, its very uplifting. I love your style and the scene in your 'give away' painting for me is what dreams are made of (mine anyway with a home cooked loaf of bread on the wooden kitchen table in the house waiting to be enjoyed after a walk to talk to the sheep)
    My favourite book as a child was without doubt 'The Jolly Postman' by Janet & Allan Ahlberg. Even after reading it so much i could have done it with my eyes shut i was always excited to turn the page and read the characters letters. The details in the book were so great to me that i felt i had visited the places myself.
    Best of wishes with anything you set out to achieve.
    Kate xx

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  104. Hi Julia
    I have one of your prints "A Moonlight Adventure" that I bought for my daughter's bedroom, so I know first hand how lovely your work is. ( I "found" you via Lucy @ Attic 24).

    My favourite book as a child was Charlottes Web. I am looking forward to my daughter being a little bit older so that I can share it with her.

    Keep going with the illustrations, I'm sure your hard work will pay off.

    Clare

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  105. Growing up in Australia, the Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome was the epitome of English childhood wonderful!
    I wanted be Nancy, but most of all dreamed about tramping, sailing and exploring the Lake District.
    One day, one day!
    Suzanne Marshall

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  106. Hi Julia, found your site through Caroline Rose Art, who is a friend of mine. Love your paintings they're so colourful and quirky. My favourite book was The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, it took your imagination away to another place, and I would love to visit that tree and the land at the top! I always wanted a talking clock which appeared in one of the stories. Brilliant!
    I'm wishing myself luck for winning your print!
    Lisa xx

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  107. Hi Julia
    Just found you through Kindred Rose's post on Facebook and I love your work
    I'm another Enid Blyton Fan - Famous Five and Secret Seven - read them all !

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  108. Hi Julia
    Just found you through Kindred Rose's post on Facebook and I love your work
    I'm another Enid Blyton Fan - Famous Five and Secret Seven - read them all !

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  109. Hello Julia,

    Wonderful news, I I am sure your illustrations will be soon seen in children's books. Your art is wonderful, and very peaceful.
    My very favourite was probably Heidi by Johanna Spyri which I just remember feeling transported to the mountain, goats, milk, Grandfather you were just there, it was an amazing book, closely followed by Holiday at Castle Grimm, by Cecily Sandbach.
    Wonderful giveaway xxx

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  110. Ooh fantastic news Julia how exciting well done and very well deserved.
    My favourite book was Mrs Pepper Pot xxx

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  112. Sophie Philpot x6 March 2012 at 23:12

    Hi Julia, I really love your work. My favourite book as a child was Molly Moves by Shirley Hughes. Just beautiful and imaginative. x

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  113. my favourite books as a child were the Narnia books...and Voyage of the Dawn Treader was my most favourite (and the entered through a painting...how apt)....i have reread them many times as an adult and i would still love to meet aslan x
    ps your work is lovely

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  114. Oh, I so agree that you do get more of what you focus on - you've inspired me to have my own little focus meeting to get some creative motivation and oomph going:)

    One of my earliest illustrated books was Ali Baba and the forty thieves. It had wonderful rich contrasting colours and detailed patterning on the delicate screens and all those 40 vessels. I clearly remember midnight blue skies, a pale yellow moon and vivid reds and vermillions in the buildings. Still have it now, it made such a huge visual impact on me:)

    Fairy and fantasy tales I loved too, all dark forests and fantastical creatures - Brothers grimm. Kids do love a bit of scary in their stories!

    Good luck with getting a book to illustrate, Your style is so lovely, I'm sure it will happen soon x

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  115. Hi Julia, love your work! My favourite ever book is Black Beauty. Don't remember when I read it first but I know I have read it many many times. My favourite kids book now is Counting on Frank by Rod Clement or another of his Just an Ordinary Day. As an illustrator you would very much appreciate that one. :o)

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  116. Focusing works wonders! Wouldn't it be marvellous to illustrate a book? Actually I'm sure there's a perfect story in that lovely farm illustration of yours!
    My favourite book? There were so many it's hard to pick just one, but here goes - Orlando, the Marmalade Cat (with gooseberry-green eyes!) a series of books by Kathleen Hale - made me long to have my own ginger cat! http://www.rosesbooks.com/informationsource/cats/kathleenhale.php

    Good luck in your quest!

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  117. I love your paintings!

    My favourite book as a child was 'The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark' - always made me smile and started a lifelong love of owls! I can't wait till my little boy is old enough so i can read it to him!!!

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  118. My fav books were Pippi Longstocking. I looked like her and wanted to be like her, she's fiesty, knows her own mind and has lots of qualities I wish I had then (and now. If she lived now I think she'd be a woman in the news!

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  119. Of all the books of my childhood the brambley hedge seasons box are the ones i treasured most. I used to get lost in those intricate drawings of lovely homeliness. I think that's in part why love cottages, countryside, seasonal weather and home baking so much now! x

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  120. Found you via Kindred Rose! My favourite books were the Ladybird Classic Tales books - especially "Cinderella". My mum kept all of my Ladybird books so now my own kids get to enjoy them and their beautiful illustrations. Scarily enough we've even got them all on the Ladybird iPad app which looks so much better without yellow sellotape across the ballgown!

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  121. Hannah Hackett7 March 2012 at 12:08

    Hi, I found you via Caroline Rose Art - you have some beautiful pieces! One of my favourite childhood books is 'Pigs Might Fly', not sure who it was by but my mum read it to me and both my sisters and cried each time! Good luck with getting published! Hannah

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  122. What great news! I will keep my fingers crossed for you and hope you get a book deal soon.
    I don't have one favourite book as I just loved and lived to read, both as a child and as an adult. but I just couldn't get enough of the 'Famous five' books by Enid Blyton, exciting stuff!

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  123. Hi
    My favourite book as a child was The boot In the field by Michael Cole.
    I loved the endless possibilities that could happen and the fact that every time I asked for it to be read my Mam would.
    In the end they realise that actually the only thing that will make them happy is their original hopes.
    I now read it to my children and very much hope they pass on this wonderful book and the meanings inside.
    x Sarah Galloway (age 38!)

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  124. Wind in the Willows! For a few moments I was lost in memories of childhood. And for that I thank you.

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  125. What beautiful work you do! Thank you for providing me with some inspiration!

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  126. my favourite book was The Hungry Catapillar. I remember looking at the pictures and thinking how delicious they looked, especially the cherry pie! It's a memory that has always stayed with me!

    well done on you journey . . . it's really inspiring to read. i think i need a little meeting with myself, perhaps even a bit of hard talking to!

    *smile*

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  127. Wow! I had a *hard* time deciding which children's book was my favorite from my childhood. But I definitely lean toward the ones by Marguerite Henry about horses, especially "Misty of Chincoteague" and the sequels to it.

    I love Marguerite Henry's style of writing. The illustrations by Wesley Dennis were amazing, and part of what inspired me to go to school to study illustration.

    As an adult, it's been fun to read Ms. Henry's books to my own children and to discover some I didn't know existed, like "Benjamin West and his cat Grimalkin". This year in our school work, Mr. West keeps turning up, and it's fun that we read that story together some years back.

    I would *love* to win your print! I love your style, so different from my own. It would be an honor to have one of your prints hanging in our home. :)

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  128. The bookI love to this day the Secret Garden, I was invited into one a few years ago and also got a tour of the farm house. The farm house was later featured in a tv programme! and I got to see it all because of the secret garden and a little cheek to go through the gate!

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  129. Hi Julia
    How wonderful that you are going to be illustrating a book, but then your pictures are lovely and what a great give-away.
    Now there was a lot of books that I loved, Lion Witch and the Wardrobe, Black Beauty, but most of all I read and re-read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the story of Mary Lennox finding a walled garden behind a door and then bringing it to life with the help of Dickon as well as bringing life to her friend Colin who had been bed-ridden. A story for little girls to dream about all the way to being grown-up and loving secret doors found in gardens still. Just recently I heard the story on the radio and was captivated again.
    Enjoy the rest of the week
    love Jillx

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  130. Love your picture Julia, esecially the way all the curves lead your eye around the landscape.

    My favourite books were the original Paddington ones with pen and ink illustrations by a lady called Peggy Fortnum. Many years later when I was at art college in the 80s, we were fortunate to have a visit by the one and only Shirley Hughes. She came to the pub with us and several of our lecturers (who were grovelling like you wouldn't believe!!!) during the lunch hour. Whilst we were chatting, Shirley asked us who our favourite illustrators were. When it got to my turn I said Peggy Fortnum and the tutors all looked at me like I'd lost the plot. Shirley Hughes said 'Oh Peggy! I knew her well!'......and the conversation went from there. You should have seen their faces!!!!!!!

    Hope you get a book to illustrate soon!

    Bev

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  131. Hi Julia,

    My favourite book was 'The magic Faraway Tree' I loved that thought that you could climb a tree and never be sure what would be at the top. Such a simple idea but so many adventures to be had! It was maybe made even more special by the fact that as we lived in Shetland at the time and there were hardly any trees!

    Love your book by that way - I am formulating a plan for organisation - not sure what my girls will think ;)

    best wishes
    H x

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  132. One I remember is actually a German book, the American title was something like "The Root Children". How Mother Earth looks after them all winter underground and in spring they get ready to reenter the area above ground (helping paint the insects too) and then Mother Earth send them forth as flowers each in their season until they return underground to sleep for winter. I still love that book...recently bought myself the German version. (Still popular in Germany in most bookstores.) Helen

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  133. Delightful paintings.
    Favourite book - mm, The Narnia series, Enid Blyton's '.....of Adventure' series, Swallows and Amazon series, oh and The Larkin books. Sorry I just love so many different books....and still do. Good luck with the illustrating when it happens.

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  134. I don't think I can choose just one favourite book, but a definite contender was and still is Morris's Disappearing Bag by Rosemary Wells.
    Lizzie, age 30 and 1/2

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  135. I am a Bunny, illustrated by Richard Scarry. Such a sweet book. Also have always loved the books illustrated by Eloise Wilkin. Good luck with your endeavors into an illustrated childrens book!

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  136. Hi Julia Your paintings are lovely, and your belief about positive thoughts and actions to accomplish dreams is so true and inspirational.
    I loved all Enid Blyton books, and devoured every single one, but The Enchanted Wood and Adventures of the Wishing Chair were my favourites. Such great adventures and so believable to a ten year old, sitting in the safety of an armchair!!

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  137. Ohh, "Home" is one of my favourites, so I would love to enter in the giveaway! As a child (and still now) I loved everything by Roald Dahl, if I have to pick one it would be Matilda, which I read over and over again, I loved Quentin Blake's illustrations so much because they made me laugh out loud :-)
    Another favourite (when I was a bit younger) was the Dutch writer Annie M.G.Schmidt, especially because her books were illustrated by the brilliant Fiep Westendorp. I'm not sure whether she is known outside Belgium/Holland, though :-)
    Very exciting news about the publisher's interest, keeping fingers crossed!

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  138. I absolutely devoured books as a child and it is so hard to pick a favourite. The one that jumped immediately to mine was The Quangle Wangle's hat ... I loved the nonsense verse and the old illustrations.

    Hannah xx

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  139. Pati from London10 March 2012 at 22:18

    I remember reading a Spanish book called "Fray Perico y su burrico" a million times when I was a kid. Also loved Enid Blyton books. I hope you are lucky with your book illustration adventure. I can definitely imagine your lovely paintings featuring in a children's book. Good luck, darling!! x Pati

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  140. hooly dooly you are talented! your illustrations are so wonderful, no wonder there is interest!! best of luck in all your endeavors!
    & my favorite book when i was small was "the very hungry caterpillar" by eric carle. i LOVED poking my fingers in the holes at the caterpillar ate through the cupcake, the pickle, the lollipop, the piece of pie. these days i love reading it to my children, and see their little fingers poking through the pages just like i used to :)
    happy march!
    gigi

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  141. The painting is so beautiful, Julia! I love your work, as you already know! I am sure you will get a book to illustrate soon because you have so much talent. I loved so many books as a child, and so many different illustrators, but one that really sticks in my mind is Mabel Lucie Atwell, and I particularly loved interiors illustrations, with lots of little details like black and white check floors and kitchen shelves. And I loved Beatrix Potter books too!
    Have a happy week ahead and enjoy creating your lovely artwork.
    Helen x

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  142. Oh your illustration makes me so want to skip along the road behind the sheep :)
    My favourite book as a child was alison Uttelys time traveller. I was and still am obsessed with the past and as a child wanted so badly to be able to travel back in time and see all the the things that had gone before me.I still pick that book up from time to time and even the smell of the pages takes me back to when I was 10 years old again!
    Success with your journey
    x

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