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Creating a Picture Book!

What an incredible, challenging and exciting journey this has been!

Music Audio Stories - Picturebook in the making image

This month, I am releasing a series of short videos about the making of my first children's picture book! I teamed up with super illustrator Jenika Ioffreda, and together, we are creating a book series based on 'Storytime with Anna Christina'! The first book will be for one of my most popular music audiobooks Billy Joins the Circus.

It's so funny how things develop and materialize! I created a Storytime Package because, at my Storytime events, parents were asking me if I had a package they could take away with them! The Storytime with Anna-Christina Package was created for children to enjoy a fun Storytime and interactive activities with their parents at home. I included a CD and a beautifully illustrated booklet with activities relating to the music audiobook on the CD!

Knowing there was a demand for these packages, I knew parents would be pleased when I made them available to purchase at my events as well as online! However, the parents who brought my package also wanted a book to go with the activities! 😊 I quickly realised that the package I had made, really could have been a book!

Billy Joins the Circus - Billy the monkey sketch by Jenika Ioffreda image
Billy Joins the Circus - The Ringmaster sketch by Jenika Ioffreda image
Billy Joins the Circus - Polly the circus flying dolly sketch by Jenika Ioffreda image

Original pencil sketches of the characters featured in my story, Billy Joins the Circus.

This led me to the idea of creating my first picture book! Not just a regular picture book, but a picture book incorporating the idea behind my Storytime Package! This means, as well as having a beautiful picture book to read, children will also enjoy a fun interactive activity, a circus game, a cute colouring in template and the music audiobook to listen to the music, song and hear me narrating the story to them! I am going to include a customised Billy greeting card that kids can hang up on their bedroom wall for a daily dose of inspiration and one or two more surprises!

Video One - The Creation of the Characters

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It has been a thrill to see the characters coming to life on the pages! From the first few pencil sketches to finalising them in ink and then in colour, it has been wonderful to see their development. I take you on a short journey, in my new video above, on how the characters for my new children's picture book, Billy Joins the Circus, were created. You will see original pencil sketches, inked and coloured illustrations of the characters. Plus you will hear the soundtrack from the music audiobook! This cute video is entertaining for kids, grown-ups and everyone who loves art and illustrations.

I am super proud and excited to be creating my first picture book for children! It's all happening! Woohoooo! ✨

Make sure you subscribe on YouTube so you don't miss my next video and watch this space...

???? Anna Christina

Billy Joins the Circus audiobook cover image

Billy Joins the Circus was inspired by my Storytime with the children at nursery! I wanted to create a music audiobook with a catchy song where children could move, dance and sing along. The story is about a monkey who wants to join a circus.

In the song, Billy sings about the things he can do in an attempt to impress the Ringmaster. This song has an incredible way of making you smile and want to join in singing. Find out more about the story here Book Details.

Get Music Audiobook and Storytime Package


Storytime with Anna-Christina | Storytime at London Libraries | Billy Joins the Circus Blog Post

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