Behind the Paintbrush

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We ask Clickety Books illustrator, Sarah Leigh-Wills, to talk us through the process of designing and illustrating a Clickety Book!

1. Character Development: This is my favorite part of the process! Creating a character is tricky. To start with, I scout thousands of photos of that particular animal. I study their physical appearance and research their natural behaviour. I find that this is all crucial in capturing the true characteristics. Making the animal then appeal to children is the next job. I tend to laugh at the same things that children do so I am able to make the characters visually amusing for them whilst maintaining their realistic attributes. Imagining I am the character is another trick of mine. I tend to put myself in the mindset of what I would do, what I would look like, how I would speak, act etc. This takes a long time.

Read to Your Baby

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Developing a love of books and reading is one of the most exciting and rewarding journeys that you can share with your children. As well as being enjoyable we know that children who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their classmates. A study from the Institute of Education found that this activity not only improves their vocabulary and spelling but also, perhaps surprisingly, their achievement in maths. It appears these children are able to learn and understand new information in all areas of the curriculum more easily.

The 3 R's

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All rhymes from traditional nursery rhymes to modern action rhymes play an important part in early childhood development. They are packed with the 3 R’s: rhyme, rhythm and repetition. They play abatdrum vital role in helping children develop key speech, language and communication skills. They also support the development of social, physical and emotional skills. It’s never too early to introduce children to rhyme, rhythm and repetition!

50 Years of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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“We are the music makers... and we are the dreamers of dreams." - Willy Wonkacatcf-50

50 years ago Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It is one of the great works of literature and remains as sharp, dark, twisted and funny as the day it was written. My children read it recently for the first time and were spellbound. They danced helplessly to the beat of this master storyteller’s drum.

National Share a Story Month

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BatIt’s officially the month for sharing a story and bringing books and children together – see http://www.fcbg.org.uk/national-share-a-story-month/. At Clickety Books we need no excuse as we know how important it is for children of all ages to share a book and enjoy a story.

Babies love books, the colours, textures, pictures and pages. Toddlers start to make the links between stories they hear and the pictures they see in their favourite books. Pre-school children start to recognise how the sounds they hear link with the words they know and the stories they love. All of which are key steps to building interest, enthusiasm and ultimately a love of books and storytelling.