I’ve already told you about my first puffin story, Lewis Clowns Around, published by Floris Books. Since authors rarely get to choose the illustrator for their books, I was very pleased to see the first sketches Gabby Grant did of my little puffin Lewis and all his circus animal friends. She has such a talent for capturing their comical charm, and I was absolutely delighted with the finished book.
Gabby is now working on my new puffin story, which is all about Lewis’s brother Harris. Unlike Lewis, Harris is quite happy being a puffin, but he is a bit lonely now that Lewis has flown off to join the circus. He decides to embark on his own adventure in search of new friends, and he finds lots of them! In this book Gabby will have to create not only puffins but seals, dolphins, fish, guillemots, otters and more!
The new story is called Harris the Hero, and it will be published by Floris in the spring of 2013. I thought it would be fun to give you a little sneak peek of some of the beautiful illustrations Gabby has done so far!
In this first illustration, Gabby shows Harris looking sad and alone with all the other puffins paired off around him. In the distance you can see a famous Scottish bridge, the Forth Rail Bridge, which goes across the Firth of Forth. The bridge is marked on the map below with a little red line near Queensferry, so you can imagine exactly where Harris is standing in Gabby’s picture.
Harris lives near Anstruther on the East Neuk of Fife. Below is another map showing the same area, with Anstruther marked just below the words East Neuk. The Kingdom of Fife (the only “Kingdom” left in Scotland) is lovely and green with pretty villages along the coast.
In Gabby’s second illustration she has created her own map from the point of view of a flying puffin! Isn’t it amazing? When I look at it I feel a little dizzy, as if I’m in an airplane looking down, down, down…
In this beautiful watercolour you can see the little village of Anstruther with sailboats in the harbour. And look – someone on the golf course at Balcomie Links has nearly hit Harris with a ball! Later in the story Harris comes to the rescue of a baby seal who has got lost. The poor thing is clinging to a buoy in the harbour and Harris helps him find his way back to his mum.
But I mustn’t give the whole story away! You’ll have to wait until the spring to see Harris the Hero in print…