Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Valerie Greeley Interview and Book Give-away!

Cheshire, England is a long way from Orange County, California, and if it weren't for blogging, I probably never would have "met" British author and gifted artist, Valerie Greeley.  
Every time I visit her blog, I am treated to a quick peek into her latest projects or wanderings around England! (Besides writing and illustrating children's books, Valerie is a textile and surface pattern designer.)

I'm delighted to tell you that one of Valerie's books White is the Moon has recently come back into print.  To celebrate, I'm doing an interview with Valerie, as well as a review and give-away of the book!  Leave a comment on this post today through midnight Thursday - for a chance to win the Give-away on Friday, April 20, 2012. (If you're not the lucky winner, you can find her book here on Amazon.) Update 4/20/12: Give-Away over - watch for my new post today.  As soon as I've made contact with the winner, I'll post her name.

White is the Moon is a poetic circle of text and color that takes us on a journey from forest, to sky, to sea - all in one day.  Beginning in the dark, with an owl and a full white moon, we are drawn into a day full of different colorful creatures and their habitats.

Title page.

Each of Valerie's perfectly detailed illustrations shows a peaceful scene as one animal encounters another, while her lyrical text leads us to the next creature's surroundings. The moon sees an owl, the owl sees a fox...

Red is the fox
Sly and fast
Sees a frog
Hopping past

The fox sees a frog, who sees the rising sun, which shines on a bird, who finds a crab...

Pink is the crab
Crawling up
Sees a seal
With her pup

The book ends after coming full circle, as nightfall returns with a full moon being gazed upon by a Puffin seabird.  A perfect bedtime story for ages 2-6. Remember to leave a comment at the end of this post, for a chance to win the Give-away of White is the Moon, on 4/20/12 - Friday! (shipped to an address within the U.S. only, please)

You can visit Valerie Greeley's website, which links to her portolio, Etsy page, and information about her other children's books.  Now that you've been introduced, let me help you get to know this very talented lady a little better...

Valerie, all your artwork is so beautiful.  What inspires you?
I have always been inspired by nature and in particular the sort of environment I am surrounded by. The lanes and woodlands around my home provide endless references, plants, flowers, birds, and bees that all appear in my illustrations.
How did you get started illustrating children's books?
I had some Camden Graphic's greeting cards in several high street shops in the UK in the eighties. A young lady with small children liked my cards and thought they would look good in the nursery. She happened to be Rosemary Lanning, the children's book editor at Blackie and Son ltd. She contacted the greeting card publisher and they very kindly forwarded her letter to me. (no email in those days!) 

She invited me down to London to discuss the possibility of illustrating a series of wordless baby board books. The office was in High Holborn, I remember it like yesterday. I waited in the board room, a library style room with a portrait of a kindly Cicely Mary Barker on the wall. I felt she was smiling at me, fortune certainly was that day!

Who are your favorite illustrators?
When I was a little girl my father introduced me to the world of books, and they were few but precious in our house. I particularly remember a Children's Treasury of Classics which he gave me as a Christmas present. There were illustrations by many of "The Golden Age" illustrators like Arthur Rackham and  Edmund Dulac and Heath Robinson. They were my earliest influences. Later I discovered the Pre-Raphealites and fell under their spell and tried to paint every leaf and blade of grass.

I also admire the work of Angela Barrett, Nicola Bayley, Gennady Spirin, Frances Tyrrell, Una Woodruff - and many more.

What keeps you busy, these days?
I am now working with my husband Tony Corrigan, a retired English teacher. We are creating new titles for young children, not only for print but for Apps also. We have been contacted by a publisher in South Korea and are in the process of finalising the contract for a new baby book which we have written together. 

We recently created our first children's App with Mobile Children's Books called The Bird with the Rainbow Tail and are looking at getting a print version to market, whilst working on a new calendar for 2013 and a range of greeting cards. I am also very involved with the study of traditional print making techniques, bookbinding, and hand bound books which is a whole new world of discovery.

Well, I'll look forward to reading about that world of discovery on your blog! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, and good luck with all you do!
With all good wishes from a very warm spring day here in England! 


  1. Thank you so much for the interview, our weather here has returned to normal after a very enjoyable warm spell.

    Good luck with the give away! you can find the book here also http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1470109751

  2. Beautiful artwork and it was especially interesting to hear of your inspirations and how you started in the book illustration business :)

  3. What a wonderful interview with Valerie. She is such an amazing artist!

  4. I just love the artwork with its beautiful details. Children deserve the best artwork, they're so impressionable!

  5. Lovely, lovely artwork. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway.

    1. Congrats, Mel! Got your address and I'll send the book right off to you. :)

    2. Thank you so much for the give away and for so quickly mailing me this wonderful book. I'm sure White is the Moon will be among my favorite story books always, and hope I don't wear it out from looking at the lovely art.

      Thank you also for the adorable book plates.

      Happy reading!

    3. Glad to know the book arrived safely. Enjoy! :)

  6. What a wonderful interview, and such a beautiful book filled with gorgeous art!

  7. Stunning art work and text. I'm here in Denver for the month of April, waiting on the birth of my third granddaughter (my daughter's first) and hanging out with my son and his girls, ages 1 1/2 and 2 1/2... so this would be a perfect book for them!

  8. A beautiful book, and I'm so glad you included the interview!!! Would love to have a book like this for our library with the little one on the way. :)

  9. I love this! This book creates a fantastic opportunity for little ones for grow such a dear relationship with the world around them. Great interview!

  10. What exquisite Artwork! I would treasure a copy of this book! Thank you for the chance too! This is such a great interview!

  11. ♥ She is such a talented illustrator! Thanks for the giveaway...I know it will please some little child!!!

  12. My daughter and me have not read any of her books yet and we love these illustrations. We hope to be lucky!

  13. oh what a treasure. my children are grown, but i've never stopped loving books for all ages. this is gorgeous and i would love to own it. what a talent valerie is. thank you very much for offering this!

  14. Oh, I hope that I win this! My 3 year old would absolutely LOVE this book! Thank you so much for offering us a chance to win it.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  15. This book looks absolutely lovely. I love Valerie Greeley's artwork, and look forward to sharing this with my little one.

  16. Thank you for this wonderful interview! I love Valerie's work!

  17. My little boys would love this book. They are fascinated by just about anything living in our yard- frogs, birds, butterflies, lizards, the neighbor's cat... Thanks for sharing this interview. It's always nice to get a peek into an author or illustrator's life and perspective, knowing that what they draw or write makes an impression on our children.

  18. Oh, my granddaughter would LOVE this book! Valerie and her work are SO AMAZING! Please count me in! Thanks for a great giveaway. :)

  19. The illustration of the fox is AMAZING. Don't put me in the drawing because I already have picture books piled everywhere and new ones are always showing up on my front porch, but had to say what a great giveaway this is :) Blessings!!

  20. Love the artwork. When I saw it, I thought the pictures would be great in a child's bedroom. Then I read the blog and discovered that's how Valerie got started. I love children's books and haven't seen this one so thank you for sharing!

  21. I think I've fallen under the spell of this book :) Thank you for sharing some of the lovely illustrations and sweet words from the story. I'm excited to see Valerie Greeley's work available in the U.S. :)

  22. What a lovely book! The illustrations are so detailed and have such vibrant colors. Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. WHat a beautiful book and such lovely illustrations! Thank you so much for your reviews which are always a delight. btw. a couple of my favorite childhood artists (you asked above ☺) are Tasha Tudor and Garth Williams. I also love Bill Peet!