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Ever since I was 6 years old I wanted to be an artist, and though at times during growing up my ambition wavered and I favoured being a cowboy, a nun or a vet I mostly stuck to the idea of being an artist. Secretly I wanted to write also.
At school favourite subjects were all wrapped around stories, like history, or drawing, like geography.
I used to get told off for drawing and dreaming. Now I get paid for it, so looking back all that drawing and dreaming was career development.
Now I live in a storybook cottage by the sea. I have two children who wear me out but are wonderful companions as well as being sources of inspiration, two dogs and five cats, including one called Maurice, who, had we lived 200 years ago would have got me burnt as a witch.
I spend my days reading, writing, drawing and colouring in and listening to music and the radio, walking on the cliffs by the sea and finding stories in the landscape, in the warm breath of the wind, in the odd snippet of over heard conversation, it the slant of light as it falls from the sky and in the whisper of the waves as they pull and pebbles on the beach.
I love poetry, the flight of hawks and owls, the colour of the feathers on a rooks back, bluebells, harebells, birds eggs in moss lined nest cups and much much more.
There are days when I love to paint, watching the colour spread from brush to paper, making an image grow out of the careful manipulation of coloured water. And there are days when I get fed up with it all and run away to watch the birds fly, or sulk somewhere and read a book.
As well as illustrating books I also paint for exhibitions.
One of our Books of the Year 2016. Gosh, this is absolutely and completely enchanting. The moment I laid eyes on ‘The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow’ I knew I had fallen in love, I hugged the book before even opening the pages. I felt like a child again, it’s beautifully sized, it’s big, the cover stunning, it just invites you to pick it up. The story began when Jackie Morris created Christmas cards, one a year for Help Musicians UK, the words, while there all along, arrived later, in the creating of this book. The illustrations speak so eloquently and beautifully they brought a tear to my eye and goose bumps magically appeared on my arms. This is a book where you just sink into the pages, drift away on the words, and it feels like a half remembered dream. I whole heartedly recommend ‘The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow’, it would make a perfect gift (even for yourself), and is a fairy tale delight of a read. ~ Liz Robinson A message from the author, Jackie Morris: Between the covers of this book there is a gathering, of images* and stories. The words tell only a small part of what can be found in the images. These stories ask more questions than they answer. Look at the paintings and find within them more answers. The book is a harbour in which to rest, a catalyst for the imagination, and the stories are a series of lullabies for grown-ups. My hope is that the threads of stories will wrap around the dreams of others and spin fine gold threads to catch the imagination. * - The illustrations were originally commissioned Christmas card designs for the charity Help Musicians. The brief was always the same: anything, so long as there were musical instruments or musicians in it. A message from Jon Boden, singer, composer and musician: A tantalising glimpse into an enigmatic, free-flowing world with music at its heart... Music, painting and words have long been close acquaintances, but in The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow Morris has discovered a way of bringing the three art forms together in a truly organic, intuitive amalgam. Click here to read more about Jackie's inspiration for this title and also a word from Jon Boden. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.
Whether you’re 5 or 105 this is a real dream of a book; a collection of poems that reflect every facet of life with a thoughtful blend of humour and playfullness, poignancy and nostalgia. It’s a collection to be treasured and dipped into at any time and the dream-like illustrations complement the words quite beautfully. In a word – the ‘rolls-royce’ of poetry books. Bel Mooney, the well-known author and columnist is equally enthused: ‘This is a wonderful collection. The hypnotic rhythms of the poems combine with the glorious colours of the illustrations to transport you beyond any passing fashion to a world where everything is possible. That’s what ‘classic’ means. That’s why we will always need books like this.’
He had been waiting all his life, hoping to hear the hare's song. . . The boy and his family are special. While others hunt the hares, his family search for leverets orphaned by the hunt and keep them safe. When the hares begin to move across the land, the boy and his sister know that their greatest challenge has begun. They must follow and watch and wait until the time comes for the old queen to leave and her child to reign in her place. But others are searching for the golden queen of the hares, a hunter with two hounds, one silver, one black. Can two children, on their own, keep the golden queen safe from the man and his hounds?
A wonderfully illustrated and sumptuous collection of nursery rhymes for all ages, including many favourite rhymes as well as some that will be a delightful discovery. Originally published as The Cat and the Fiddle in 2011, this edition includes a new introduction by Jackie Morris - a spirited defence of the nursery rhyme, which she fears is in danger of being forgotten in a digital world. The beautiful and detailed watercolour paintings combine with over 40 rhymes to make this a unique treasury and lifetime possession for children and adults of all ages.
This book is not meant to be read from cover to cover. It is a book for dreamers. Slight of word, rich of image, its purpose is to ease the soul. The paintings between these covers were worked in the between times, an unwinding of the soul, when the pressures of work were too much. Dreams and wishes are the inspiration at times like this. Threaded through the curious world of The Unwinding are words, slight and lyrical. Their aim is to set the reader's mind adrift from the troubles of our times, into peaceful harbours where imagination can stretch, where quiet reflection can bring peace. The Unwinding is designed to be a companion, a talisman to be turned to again and again and a place of respite from an increasingly frantic and complex world.
This book is a companion to The Unwinding. It contains within images that tell stories, but it reads like a silent film. Each of the images is an invitation to dream. The tales of this silent edition are not pinned to the page by words. Each dreamer will find their own path, perhaps a new one each time they return. The illustrations are intended to inspire: there is space to draw and write, to paint dreams and stories, thoughts and verse, in new worlds, wherever your pen may guide you.
The flood is over - but while Mr Noah builds a house out of the ark, Mrs Noah creates a garden. Luckily her famous pockets contain seeds and she has some help from the children - and the creatures. Midsummer morning brings some very special surprises! This magical story from the creators of Mrs Noah's Pockets explores new beginnings, care for nature and, above all, home.
Selected by The Guardian as one of the top children's books of 2019. The Secret of the Tattered Shoes is a fresh interpretation of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tale about twelve princesses who are locked in at night, yet whose dancing shoes are still worn down by morning. A young soldier is tasked to discover their night-time adventures. But unlike the story told by the Brothers Grimm, this soldier seeks a different ending. Jackie's dark and poetic text updates this well-known tale and shows how stories evolve and adapt over time. Beautifully illustrated by Ehsan Abdollahi, who has created stunning puppet-like illustrations in rich and delicate detail, this unique illustrative style brings the story to life and perfectly encapsulate the beauty and melancholy of the story.
Penguin presents the CD edition of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane, read by Edith Bowman, Guy Garvey, Cerys Matthews and Benjamin Zephaniah. All over the country, there are words disappearing from children's lives. Words like Dandelion, Otter, Bramble, Acorn and Lark represent the natural world of childhood, a rich landscape of discovery and imagination that is fading from children's minds. The Lost Words stands against the disappearance of wild childhood. It is a joyful celebration of the poetry of nature words and the living glory of our distinctive, British countryside. With acrostic spell-poems by peerless wordsmith Robert Macfarlane this enchanting audiobook captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages. Across a rich and vivid natural soundscape, Edith Bowman, Guy Garvey, Cerys Matthews and Benjamin Zephaniah, iconic voices of modern Britain, bring the magic of nature and language to listeners. Through captivating readings, wonderful natural recordings and more, the audio edition of The Lost Words is a stunning celebration of the nature and the power of language.