Children’s non fiction has blossomed in recent years with an increasing amount of impressive and stylishly designed books being published that appeal to both children and adults. Smart, over sized hardback books full of fascinating facts and stunning artwork and Yuval Zommer‘s Big Books are a shining example of this.
Scroll down to read our interview with Yuval as well as details of a brilliant Giveaway!
The Big Book series began with The Big Book of Bugs which was followed up by The Big Book of Beasts and most recently, The Big Book of the Blue, all published by Thames and Hudson. Each book approaches discovering about the animal kingdom in the same way that young children do, by asking questions! Questions about why animals look the way they do, why they do what they do and even those questions that you’ve always wondered about but didn’t want to ask; Why are tigers stripy? Why don’t penguins freeze? Does a dragonfly breathe fire?
Each double page spread is a delight with vibrant and colourful illustrations and animals that are full of character as they prowl, scuttle and swim across the pages creating a wonderful sense of movement. Brilliant facts are delivered in bite sized portions that are chatty and funny, perfect to inspire little ones to want to discover more.
We’re so pleased to welcome the creator of these beautiful books, Yuval Zommer, to our blog who has very kindly agreed to answer some questions about his work.
Welcome to our blog Yuval! We really enjoy reading your books, are there any particular picture books you remember reading when you were younger that inspired you?
I used to love (and still do) classics such as The Little Prince, Wind in the Willows and Treasure Island. All to do with nature, adventure and exploration. They must have made an impression on me as my books are also all about these themes.
The Big Book of the Blue is your third Big Book, do you have a favourite and will there be any more Big Books to follow?
Each book is my absolute favourite whilst I’m working on it, but I can say that my favourite colour is blue! The title of each of the books is always an alliteration, so yes there will be another book and it’s going to be: The Big Book of “something also beginning with the letter B”. I leave it up to your readers to guess the next title.
Can you tell us a bit about the research you carried out for your books?
I actually work with a scientist who is credited in the book when it comes to research. This way the text and illustrations are then factually robust! There is a lot of background work also with my editors before we ultimately reach the final version of the book. I have also been known to visit the Natural History Museum and the Grant Zoological Museum, which is always fun as it takes me away from my desk.
Are there any creatures you found really tricky to draw and if so, what did you to overcome that?
Yes, and it’s not always the ones you’d think would be difficult to draw. In ‘The Big Book of the Blue’ I found the dolphins particularly tricky to depict, as I didn’t want to show them as too cute. It was the opposite case with the sharks, they are not cute at all and I really tried to give them some personality.
We love that the sea creatures are life like but also have their own subtle characters, much like the animals in your picture books. Do you have a different approach to creating fiction versus non-fiction illustrations?
No, I tend not to categorize the illustration. I like to bring whatever I bring to whatever kind of book. I expect as a reader (and a grown up who’s still very much a child!) to have wonderful text and great images whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. As the more attractive the book the more it will be picked up!
We couldn’t have put it better ourselves! Thank you for making such attractive books and for taking the time to answer our questions.
The Big Books Giveaway!
The lovely people at Thames and Hudson have very kindly given us a copy of all three of Yuval Zommer’s Big Books to giveaway along with their accompanying Big Sticker Books.
We are running this giveaway across our blog, Twitter and Instagram with one set of books to be won over each platform so choose which book (or books) you’d like to win and follow these details…
- To win a copy of The Big Book of the Blue and The Big Sticker Book of the Blue: Comment on this post with your favourite sea creature and be sure to follow our blog with your email address.
- To win a copy of The Big Book of Beasts and The Big Sticker Book of Beasts: Follow us over on Instagram @acorn_books like the image on our feed and tag a friend in the comments.
- To win a copy of The Big Book of Bugs and The Big Sticker Book of Bugs: Head over to our Twitter feed @Acornbooks follow us and retweet the pinned tweet.
This giveaway closes midnight on Friday 30th November 2018 and is open to UK residents only. Good luck!
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