JAMES KEYLON ON BOOKABOO by Tim Hopgood

James Keylon is the guest on tomorrow's BOOKABOO show (ITV1, CiTV 7.25am) and he'll be reading my new book 'Ping and Pong Are Best Friends (mostly)'. I think it's a very interesting choice of guest and no doubt a perfect match for the book. Can't wait to see it! 

I also love the fact that (and I hope James, sorry I mean Mr.Keylon, doesn't mind me saying this) he looks a bit like Ping! You may not have come across the name James Keylon before now, especially if you live in the U.K. So who is he? James Keylon is an award-winning stage director, script writer, clown, mime artist and actor.He’s also a registered pharmacist who gave it all up to join the circus. But not just any circus... the CIRQUE DU SOLEIL! I’m sure he could teach Ping and EVEN Pong a trick or two! 

PING AND PONG ON ITV by Tim Hopgood

According to unofficial sources (the Bookaboo wiki page) Ping And Pong Are Best Friends (mostly) is the Bookaboo book this coming Sunday (10th March) to be broadcast on ITV1 and CITV at 7.25am. Too early? catch it an hour later on ITV+1. There's a review of my new book 'Ping And Pong Are Best Friends (mostly) over at Playing by the book, you can read it in full here.

MAKE YOUR OWN PING & PONG PENGUINS by Tim Hopgood

Mrs. Hop has designed an original pattern for those of you who fancy making your own penguin BEST friends. The pattern is available as a pdf document: just click the download button. The penguins pictured were made from the pattern which prints out on 3 sheets of A4 paper. Have fun and please do send us photos of your penguin handy work tim@timhopgood.com

How to make your own Ping and Pong soft toy penguins

PING AND PONG SNEAK PEEK by Tim Hopgood

An advance copy of my new book 'PING AND PONG ARE BEST FRIENDS (mostly)' published in the UK by Simon & Schuster arrived in the post today. Very excited to see it finally in print. The printing is excellent, the colours throughout are really bright and vibrant and it smells so good! I'm sure I'm not the only one who enjoys a freshly printed piece of print ...something you can't experience with an e-book.

I think you can tell from these sneaky peek close-ups just how vibrant the pages are. Look out for future blog posts on PING AND PONG in the next few weeks including an exclusive PENGUIN PATTERN for those of you who fancy making your own homemade penguin friends!

A DISCARDED GEM by Tim Hopgood

Look what turned up in the post this week... 'SUN UP' byAlvin Tresselt and Roger Duvoisin, published in 1949 by Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., Inc. I tracked down several copies on AbeBooks (a very useful site for anyone interested in out of print books) and ordered my copy from BOOK RESCUE! in Burdett, New York.

It's a little battered and it's definitely seen better days, but the glory of the artwork shines through! I'm a huge, huge fan of Roger Duvoisin and the artwork in this book is stunning. I like it even more than the artwork in 'WHITE SNOW, BRIGHT SNOW' also by Tresselt and Duvoisin which won the Caldecott Medal in 1948.

But it's not just the illustrations that I love. What I especially like about this book is the fact that it celebrates the ordinary. Yes the text is a little old fashioned, but this discarded gem from 1949 is a reminder that sometimes it's the everyday things in life that produce the biggest wonders of all. 

Before the rain came

Ripe drops of rain came plopping down

The sun shone once more through torn pieces of clouds

Discarded! Tompkins County Public Library, New York

THIS IS WHAT I DID ALL SUMMER by Tim Hopgood

Summer 2012 here in the U.K. was a wet,wet,wet one. I spent the whole of it creating a dark underwater world for Joyce Dunbar's latest book 'TWINKLE, TWINKLE SQUIGLET PIG' to be published next year in the U.K. by Egmont Children's Books. It's a delightful story and the whole project from start to finish was a complete joy. So although it was grey and miserable outside it was all smiles indoors. Here are some of the backgrounds I created for the book, plus a sneak preview of the little SQUIGLET himself!

BRIEF INTERLUDE by Tim Hopgood

One of the things I love about being an illustrator is the wide range of commissions that can come your way. A couple of months ago I took a break from illustrating my latest picture book (my first collaboration with author.Joyce Dunbar, you heard it here first!) to work on a packaging project for a new Amouage fragrance called 'Interlude'.