Thursday, 29 March 2012

Friday's fun fact - Dotty Dalmatians

Did you know that most Dalmatian dogs are born with all white coats which do not begin to show spots until they are about 2 weeks old?

And if you are dotty about dalmatians, we think you will love this fab lamp from the wooden lamp company...

Monday, 26 March 2012

Book cover

Following on from the sketch I posted in January from John's forthcoming book 'If your dreams take off and fly', I thought you might like to see a sneak preview of the book cover, which he is busy working on at the moment...

Friday, 23 March 2012

Friday's fun fact - Perfect pigs

Did you know pigs are highly intelligent. Like dogs they can be house trained and even taught to dance, pull and even sniff out landmines.

However, I was taught at a young age, when Joanna bought me this book for my 4th Birthday, that pigs' manners leave a lot to be desired. I still have this book today and read it recently to my 3 year old. I love the fun illustrations and think it's a great way to introduce little ones to manners.

And here are some gorgeous little piglets we saw on our holiday last year...

Monday, 19 March 2012

Mother's day celebrations

We hope all the mothers enjoyed a lovely day on Sunday. The Little Blue Zebra family had a fun day together enjoying a tasty lunch at a country pub. With extended family we had 5 mothers round the table from 3 generations. It was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to have our desserts outside. This seemed like a good idea but our timing wasn't great because as soon as we got outside the heavens opened...

Here's our lovely mother making good use of her napkin!

The importance of introducing our little ones to nature

Saw this interesting article in The New York Times about natural environments all but disappearing from children's books over the past two decades. Researchers have found that natural environments and wild animals are increasingly being replaced by built or modified environments and domesticated or anthropomorphised creatures. Pleased to say that our prints and John Butler's books are keeping little ones in touch with the amazing wonders of the natural world.

This is a spread from Polar Star one of John's books. I love the way the light hits the snow in the background...
And this is from one of his more recent books - Rainy day duckling...

Friday, 16 March 2012

Friday's fun fact - Multi-coloured jaguars!

Did you know that there is no such thing as a black panther? It is just a colour variant of several species of larger cat, including the jaguar and leopard.

There is one other colour of panther of course...

Happy Friday all!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Friday's fun fact - Hip hip hooray for hippos!

Did you know that hippos walk in water? Ok, so it's not quite as impressive as if they could walk on water (that would be weird!), but their enormous size and specific gravitiy means they sink and literally walk along the bottom of rivers.

One of the books John has illustrated is about a little hippo in Africa and is based on factual events that occurred during the catastrophic tsunami of 2004. A family of hippos were swept out to sea from their home on Sabaki River, in Eastern Kenya. The sole survivor of the disaster was a baby hippo who was rescued and given the name Owen. Motherless and alone, Owen was befriended by Mzee, a giant male tortoise at a local nature reserve.

The book is called "A Mummy for Owen" and below is a clip of Fern Britton reading the book as part of the Bookaboo series. We love how they have animated the illustrations.

Also, staying with the hippo theme, we saw these hippo beanbags and thought they were very cute...

Monday, 5 March 2012

Sunny Northumberland

We recently headed up north to say bon voyage to my sister-in-law who has just moved to Bangkok for 2 years. We had a great weekend in sunny Northumberland. It is such a lovely part of the country and one I don't really know very well. When the sun shines in this country (which is admittedly much less than it does in Bangkok!) it makes you a little less jealous of those heading off to sunny climes!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Friday's fun fact - Leap year leaping frogs!!!

Did you know that frogs are some of the best leapers on the planet. Their strong hind legs can launch them over 20 times their own length. That would be like us jumping 100 feet into the air!

Happy Friday all!