November 12, 2013
by Steve Attewell
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Children’s poetry video – an excerpt from That’s Twice I’ve Laughed My Socks Off

Eric The Weary Bee

I’ve had awesome fun creating this video short to promote my new book. It tells the tale of Eric the Weary Bee and how I helped him out one day. It’s a true story.

If you’re interested in more poetry, check out out the new print versions of my illustrated children’s poetry book. It’s available in the USA, or the UK (and other Amazon sites).

New children's poetry

October 14, 2013
by Steve Attewell
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Illustrated children’s poetry is released exclusively for Amazon kindle

More crazy poems and illustrations are now released exclusively on Amazon Kindle. “That’s Twice I’ve Laughed My Socks Off” is my second book of children’s poetry. The first book has been a great success. It has been used by parents across the world to encourage their kids to read (with one kind reviewer declaring that the book is “great for the reluctant reader”), and has also been used at schools as recommended poetry reading.

By the book on Amazon.com

Buy the book on Amazon.co.uk

The new book’s called “That’s Twice I’ve Laughed My Socks Off” and is longer, funnier, and now contains over 50 illustrations for kids to enjoy.

 

me-and-geoff

desmond-1

 

 

melvin-the-teddy-bear-how-to-draw-illustration-charcoal-outline

June 8, 2012
by Steve Attewell
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How to illustrate Melvin the naughty teddy bear with watercolours (children’s illustration)

I thought I’d share with you some test illustrations I’ve been working on for Melvin, the hungry teddy bear in my book of poems for kids. I’m working on an illustrated version of the book right now, so planning a style and a method for getting things just right.

Here’s how he’s drawn…

Step 1: Pencil outline

I’m working on quite thick watercolour paper as that’s what I’ll be using to paint with in a minute.

Here’s Melvin about to scoff down some of his favourite cheese…

Children's illustration of teddy bear, how to step 1

Pencil outline

The first step is the pencil outline. Melvin is drawn from 2 circles, one for the head, and a slightly bigger one for his body. You can see the faint body circle in the illustration above. I start with these circles because I know that as long as these two circles are in the right position Melvin will be the correct height, and be proportionally correct ever time I draw him.

Step 2: Clean up the pencil outline with artist’s putty

Children's illustration of teddy bear, how to step 2

A tidied up pencil outline

Why artists putty, rather than an eraser? Artist’s putty is squidgy, so you can get shape it into points for fine work. It also leaves no bits behind like an eraser does. It’s also good for picking up bits of eraser if you really do need to use one to get rid of a heavy line. This is much safer than brushing away bits of eraser with your hand and risking smudging your pencil lines.

Step 3: Start Painting

Children's illustration of teddy bear, how to step 3 - watercolour paints

The first watercolours are added

A nice watery mix of watercolour paint works well for Melvin I think. I Start with the bigger areas of colour first, working quickly. I also pick a good spot to take my paintbrush off the paper, as this spot often has a build-up of paint making that area slightly darker. I use this for an indication of shadows. You may be able to see where I’ve lifted off above on Melvin’s ear, the bottom-left of his hand, and foot. Click the image to see a bigger version.

Step 4: Finish off the painting

Children's illustration of teddy bear, how to step 4 watercolour painting

All the painting done

Be careful to wait until one colour is fully dry before applying the next. If you don’t you’ll get one colour bleeding into another which is sometimes a nice effect, but not appropriate here.

Step 5: The outline in charcoal

Children's illustration of teddy bear, how to step 5, the charcoal outline

Adding a charcoal outline

I tried several different materials for outlining Melvin. I tried a black  marker pen, the thickest, darkest pencil I could find, and paint. In the end I settled on a charcoal pencil as it’s nice and dark, and also shows a little texture from the watercolour paper which looks good.

Just be careful – that charcoal is easy to smudge so, being right-handed, I’ll usually start somewhere top-left on the drawing and work to the bottom right so that my hand is never in danger of smudging the lines. I also place a piece of tracing paper over any part of Melvin I’m not working on. That way the pencil lines and painted parts shouldn’t smudge, and it’ll keep my right hand clean too. With tracing paper under your drawing hand you won’t pick up pencil lead and later smudge it all over your drawing (or your t-shirt, or the desk, or the wall, or the table cloth at dinner etc.)

So there he is, about to get a little bit fuller and fatter thanks to that big lump of cheese. Careful Melvin, don’t overdo it!

You can read about Melvin’s feasting exploits and how he learns to curb his dietary intake (as well as other stories) in Once I Laughed My Socks Off in paperback or for your Kindle (illustrated version coming soon…). For other countries and places to buy, see the top of this page.

 

 

smashwords logo

June 8, 2012
by Steve Attewell
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Funny children’s poetry ebook available at Smashwords

Once, I Laughed My Socks Off – Poems for Kids is now available through Smashwords.com for download to various electronic platforms.

You can download an excerpt, or buy this children’s poetry ebook from Smashwords here

What is Smashwords?

Publishing books to Smashwords makes them available to all manner of digital platforms, such as the Apple iPhone, iPad, Android phones, and the Amazon Kindle and Sony eReaders. Smashwords also distribute their eBooks to various on-line stores. As a self-published author I took this route in order to gain distribution exposure for the book after hearing good reports.

Other authors should be aware that when publishing through Smashwords extended distribution channel, it can take a couple of months before you start to see whether your book is selling through these channels due to the delayed nature of sales reporting coming from, say, the Apple iBook store, through Smashwords, and then to you.

I’ve also been experiencing delays (as other authors have) in getting the book published into the Apple iBook store. Reading around the experience of others it can take anywhere from a few days, to a few months before Apple to first approve your work. This is contrary to the “about 2 weeks” information given to you from Smashwords. It’s been one month now and still no sign of the book appearing in the iBooks store. I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed, eh?

Check the top of this page to see other stores and platforms where Once, I Laughed My Socks Off is available.

April 18, 2012
by Steve Attewell
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Children’s poetry giggles available now in paperback on Amazon.com

Once, I Laughed My Socks Off, Poems for kids from cover

Paperback cover

For all my fans in the USA, the first print version of Once I Laughed My Socks Off is now available in print on Amazon.com

Or you can buy my book of poems for kids directly from my publisher here.

The process of getting the book published in print, as well as on the  Amazon Kindle store in both the USA and the United Kingdom has been an exciting journey (ok, maybe some of the paperwork wasn’t that exciting). But opening the first box of proof copies and authorising the book to be released on Amazon was enormous fun.

I hope to have a print version available in the UK as soon as I possibly can – my mum is dying to buy a copy! Soon, mum… soon!

I’ve had fantastic feedback regarding my first book. It appears that most kid’s favourite poem in the book is Desmond the Fairy (he’s green and quite hairy!). If you have a favourite, you can let me know by dropping me an email at steve@laughedmysocksoff.com. I’d love to hear from you.

March 15, 2012
by Steve Attewell
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Printed book coming to the USA soon with bonus poems

In about 6 weeks I hope to have released the very tactile, very real, printed version of my short children’s poetry book, Once I Laughed My Socks Off, to the USA Amazon store. So far my children’s poetry book has only existed in electronic form (as a Kindle eBook) and I’m waiting for proofs to arrive from the USA in order to check them over before publication. It’s an exciting time. I hope they arrive soon!

In addition to the poems released in the Kindle version of the book, the paperback version of Once I Laughed My Socks Off will have two bonus poems:

Ebb and Flo – A story in poem-form describing two doves, how they become the best of friends, and defeat the curious cat that frequents their favourite garden.

Trees are good – Well, they are, are they not? Useful for all sorts of things (not least the production of vital, life-giving oxygen) trees deserve a celebratory poem don’t you think?

You can buy the electronic version now

The book is available in electronic form on the Amazon Kindle store in both the USA and the United Kingdom. Plans are afoot for both the release of the paperback version to the USA Amazon store, and then the availability of the electronic version of the book on a wider platform that just the Kindle Store.

 

cover-art

January 19, 2012
by Steve Attewell
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Once, I Laughed My Socks Off is released exclusively for Amazon kindle

Steve Attewell’s first short book of poetry, “Once, I Laughed My Socks Off” has been released exclusively on the Amazon Kindle store. This delightful book contains 5 poems for kids.

A short collection of fun and imaginative of poems for fun and imaginative kids (and those adults that still behave like kids). The book lets you know why you should tidy up after yourself, why midnight snacking is not such a good idea, and what to do if you laugh so hard that your socks come off!

USA: “Once, I Laughed My Socks Off” in the USA Kindle Store

UK: “Once, I Laughed My Socks Off” in the UK Kindle Store