Nicola O’Byrne’s ‘Open Very Carefully’ Kick Starts a Whole Generation of Young Readers

Following an award studded 2014 for Bright star Nicola O’Byrne - including the coveted Waterstones Children’s Book Prize - this year was already set to consist of gleaming prosperity. The BookTrust‘s Booktime story for 2015 – that is to be gifted to 700,000 reception-aged children in UK – is Nicola O’Byrne’s debut picture book, Open Very Carefully (Nosy Crow).


The book with bite, which was brokered by Bright M.D Vicki Willden-Lebrecht, has been a seemingly huge success with children of all ages, their parents & schools the world over. Kate Wilson, Managing Director of Nosy Crow, aptly describes why the book has been received so well by young readers -

‘With its invitation to interactivity, its humour and its stylish but accessible illustration, Open Very Carefully seems to have really wide appeal’

The Nosy Crow book, which is to be distributed to all UK school children aged 4-5, will be accompanied by a Booktime pack that provides guidance & notes for parents aimed at installing the importance of reading with their children.

 With a reach of two million children & families, the BookTrust is Britain’s largest reading charity. As the organisation’s 10th Booktime story to be gifted to every reception child in UK, Open Very Carefully will no doubt continue to grace the shelves of more and more young readers this year – especially with the availability of 13 languages.

See Nicola O’Byrne’s Literary Portfolio HERE for previous titles, awards & upcoming projects.

Nicola O’Byrne is represented by the Bright Group

David Litchfield’s Début Picture Book – The Bear and the Piano

David has hit the ground running at Bright securing his first picture book deals in both the UK and the US. His distinctive style mixes colour and drama to inspire an incredible atmosphere which creates a huge scale from which to entertain his readers.

David's début Picture Book - The Bear and the Piano (published with Frances Lincoln), is available for pre-order now!


David first began drawing when he was very young, creating Star Wars & Indiana Jones mash-up comics for his older brother and sister. His illustration heroes and biggest influences are Albert Uderzo, Sylvan Chomet, Jon Klassen and Shaun Tan. He uses a variety of techniques to create his illustrations and considers himself to be a mixed media artist as he usually combines all the elements together in Photoshop.

David Litchfield is represented by Bright 



Chris Garbutt: It’s a Groovy World, Alfredo! – Debut Picturebook


Chris Garbutt's long-awaited debut picture book, It's a Groovy World, Alfredo! written by Sean Taylor, is published by Walker on 4th June.


Poor Alfredo is a frog who just can't dance. No matter how hard his best friend Marty (a smooth talking fly) tries to teach him all the fancy dance moves - all he ever does is Jump! Jump! Jump! It's just not cool!  Or… is it?

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Chris' use of rich colours with subtle washes, combined with his simple yet expressive characters gives this heart-warming story a really unique feel. Here's a preview of his gorgeous illustrations.

Chris Garbutt is represented by Arena Illustration

Storytime Sunday with Little Tiger Press & Waitrose!

Following on from a SOLD OUT Storytime Sunday with Sue Hendra last month, we were so pleased to gain the same fantastic feedback this time around at our April event with Ada Grey

With a 10am start,  Ada Grey was raring to read her illustrated Hippobottymus (Little Tiger Press) to the crowd of eagerly awaiting children. Monkey impressions, Crocodile snaps, bubble dances galore – the group of avid fans were up on their feet joining in the jungle fun. After the reading, the families were invited to design their own hippos and colour in sheets of their favourite characters alongside the creative guidance of Ada (her bubble machine!) and Little Tiger Editor, Ellie Farmer!

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Throughout the morning, the kids were making full use of the giant chalk board wall – doodling alongside both Ada & Laura – and enjoying the array of pastries & refreshments the Doodle Bar had supplied. Donations for Great Ormond Street Hospital were taken from start to finish – the Waitrose Easter baskets were a hit and kids were lining up for a signed copy of Ada’s book!

Ada Grey is represented by Bright Group 

Alex T. Smith: Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion – Just Published

Alex T. Smith's fantastic new picture book, Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion is published this month by Scholastic Children's Books. Alex artfully brings a new, cheeky little twist to the classic Little Red Riding Hood tale, setting his charming story in Africa with gorgeous hot colours and introducing a greedy lion to replace the cunning wolf. Our plucky heroine, Little Red, is a fearless little girl who won't let a lion get between her and curing her Auntie Rosie from a mysterious rash!


This 'riotous romp of a story' was Fiona Noble's 'Editor's Choice for the Month' in The Bookseller (20th February, 2015). She goes on to say:

“Little Red is not a girl to be messed with…. The spreads of her travelling to her auntie’s house are a particular joy: dashing, creeping and wiggling (with her trusty goat sidekick) past a glorious menagerie of giraffes, crocodiles, monkeys and more. There are quirky details to spot and savour, all decorated in a vivid palette of red and gold. Smith’s sense of mischief is everywhere, with moments of pure, joyful silliness…. As the parent of a six-year-old I have a strict standard of merit for picture books: does it still delight on the 10th re-reading? A resounding yes!”

Alex T. Smith is represented by Arena Illustration


Surrey Libraries Children’s Book Award 2015!

Congratulations to Hannah George and Jennifer Grey on winning The
Surrey Libraries Children's Book Award 2015!

Hannah George
We were delighted to hear that  'Chicken Mission - Danger In The Deep
Dark Woods'  published by Faber Children’s scooped the prize. Hannah
loves illustrating these action packed adventures about Amy
Cluckbucket - The Kung Foo Chicken, with a few of the characters being
based on her own pet hens!

Hannah George is represented by Meiklejohn



BBC’s Antique Roadshow Detectives Visit Artist Partners

Earlier in the year the team from BBC’s Antique Roadshow Detectives visited our office to film part of an episode at Artist Partners HQ. The story centres around Shirley Thompson, an AP artist represented in the 60's - 70's  whose beautiful  illustrations were found in a skip many decades ago, preserved and cherished before finding their way back to her family all these years afterwards.

Shirley’s fashion illustrations are exquisite and the artwork rescued in this story were for a Burberry catalogue in the 60s.

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A lovely story and an interesting watch! You can catch the episode here and scroll to 16mins 27 seconds


AP 8

Artist Partners

Just Published: Cave of Doom by Jonny Duddle

Ahoy there, me hearties! This month sees the return of Jim Lad and the Pirates Next Door in the publication of the much awaited, The Jolley Rogers and the Cave of Doom, (Templar) written and lavishly illustrated by Jonny Duddle.

While the Jolley-Rogers are enjoying a day at the beach, little sister Nugget toddles into a cave. When she doesn't come out again, Mum goes in to find her. And, when Mum doesn't return, Dad follows. Jim Lad is suspicious and sends Bones the dog to Dull-on-Sea to find Matilda before he too ventures in to the cave. Jim Lad soon discovers a magical haul of treasure inside the cave has bewitched his family. Will the cave's spooky inhabitant, a sinister sea witch, keep them prisoner forever, or can Matilda and Bones come to the Jolley-Rogers' rescue?



Jonny Duddle is represented by Arena Illustration

Thomas Flintham: The Spy Who Loved School Dinners wins the Blue Peter Book Awards

CONGRATULATIONS!!! We are delighted to announce that The Spy Who Loved School Dinners has WON the Blue Peter Book Awards for Best Story Book, written by Pamela Butchart and illustrated by the marvellous Thomas Flintham.

Thomas proudly picked up his award from the UK’s Children’s Laureate, Malorie Blackman in a special World Book Day edition of CBBC’s Blue Peter.

Thomas Flintham was on the shortlist last year for Marvellous Maths with Jonathan Litten, this year he is the proud owner of a Blue Peter badge to wear and a trophy to display in his studio.


The enormously popular Blue Peter Book Awards, which are managed by Booktrust, celebrate the best authors, most creative illustrators and the greatest reads. 200 children from 10 schools across the UK read the shortlisted books and voted for their favourites. The Spy Who Loved School Dinners is the second book By Pamela Butchart in the series about Izzy following on from Baby Aliens Got My Teacher, recently shortlisted for the Red House Book Awards, and you can read more about the illustration process in Thomas’s questions on the Booktrust website.

Thomas Flintham is represented by Areana

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