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Alexis Deacon graduated in 2001 from the University of Brighton, where he studied Illustration, Alexis Deacon's first picture book Slow Loris (2002) was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award. His second Beegu (2003) was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award. In 2008, he was chosen as one of the ten Best New Illustrators as part of the Booktrust's Big Picture Campaign. He lives in South East London.
All brilliant picturebooks rely upon the interplay between words and pictures and this partnership of author and illustrator has very good form. Indeed, the acclaimed A Place to Call Home has a similar theme about discovering the world beyond, but in Ergo Deacon and Schwarz have produced a sublime and joyful mix of text, art and clever typography, which will stimulate endless discussion and read aloud requests. While not being at all a book about the COVID crisis, I think that this adds additional resonance for children (and adults) who can easily recall the time when they were literally shut inside. It also speaks to the universal self-absorption of young children and babies. Like them, the first discoveries Ergo makes are of herself. Her feet! Her wings! A demonstration of the principle that consciousness defines existence - I think therefore I am, as Descartes told us. But then Ergo discovers the boundaries of her world and enjoys pushing against these and making her world move and then her astonishment is unbound when she feels movement and noise from outside! The recognition that there may be other creatures like her and the sad thought that they might be forever separated is what spurs her determination to break out and achieve the joyful meeting with fellow fledgelings. What a perfect allegory for recognising that we all need other people and that there is a wonderful world out there if you are brave enough to explore. A perfect introduction to philosophy with the most apposite title ever- not only a word that means therefore, but one which sounds perfectly eggy too! An absolute must have for classrooms and homes.
A Reader Review Panel Pick of the Year 2015 - chosen by Sam Radford, aged 5 - January 2015 Book of the Month All finches make a lot of noise! Henry Finch has grown up with a terrible racket all around him from morning until night. But he is sure that there could be more to life – if only he could have space to think! How one brave little finch becomes a hero and gives all the other finches the chance to do their own thing is beautifully realised in Viviane Schwarz’s witty thumb print illustrations. ~ Julia Eccleshare
The creator of Beegu is back with a hilarious new story about who owns cheese – and a lot more! According to Rat Law, if any rat has the cheese, he owns the cheese – unless another bigger, stronger, scarier, hairier Rat wants it. Many spreads later, all kinds of Rats and cheese and potentially hazardous situations have been entertainingly explored.
Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011. This award-winning author and illustrator pair have created a brilliant book celebrating the bravery of leaving home. When their tiny hole of a home becomes too small for them, seven furry brothers set out on a great adventure. Boldly, they step into the outside world… It is full of all kinds of dangers – a huge lake, a mountain, the edge of the world and a terrifying monster. Sticking closely together and bolstering each other’s morale, the brothers overcome all difficulties and find a new place of their own. The pictures tell a rather different story of the adventure! Young readers will love the joke and can have their own way of telling what happened.