Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Isadora Moon Goes to School & Isadora Moon Goes on a School Trip by Harriet Muncaster - Book Reviews, Interview & Giveaway

Reviews by Suze

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Isadora Moon isn't like other children, she's half vampire, half fairy. Her dad is a vampire and Isadora loves flying at night and she likes bats. Her mother is a fairy and therefore Isadora also likes the day, spending time outside in the sunshine. She loves her pink rabbit and cute baby sister. It's time for Isadora to go to school, which school should she choose, a school for vampires or a school for fairies? Isadora goes to both vampire and fairy school to see which of the two she likes best. Where will she feel most at home?

Isadora loves pink and black, she has a pink bunny that accompanies her everywhere, Pink Rabbit, she likes bats, she has unruly black hair and everything about her is a mix of vampire and fairy. That makes her special and like nobody else. She's cute with her fangs, and pink and black and white clothes. She's friendly and sweet and unique, so the question is where she'll fit it. Every child that goes to school has to deal with making new friends and being part of a group and Harriet Muncaster smartly uses this as a theme for her first Isadora Moon story, which makes the story both fun and easy to relate to.

Harriet Muncaster's artwork is stunning. I loved every drawing in this beautiful Isadora Moon book. The combination of pink and black works very well and it makes the story come to life in a fantastic vibrant way. Each drawing perfectly suits the writing. Harriet Muncaster is talented in many different ways and her stories are bursting with creativity. Isadora Moon Goes to School put a big smile on my face, it's a wonderful story and I highly recommend it.



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Isadora Moon and her classmates go on a school trip to a castle. Isadora's father immediately offers his services, he loves helping out and maybe the castle will have ghosts. Isadora and her father love ghosts, but do Isadora's classmates like them as well? What will the school trip be like, is it going to be filled with fun, laughter and games or are there going to be spooks that will scare everyone else?

Isadora Moon Goes on a School Trip is a charming story about a half vampire half fairy girl and a haunted castle. Isadora is kindhearted and loves spending time with her classmates. She's unique, but so are they and they like each other because of who they are, which is something I absolutely loved about this story. Isadora meets a ghost at the castle, just like she hoped, but not everyone thinks ghosts are friendly and fascinating creatures. I loved how Harriet Muncaster describes the ghost, the castle itself and how much fun it is to go on a school trip there. Reading about it constantly made me smile. Another thing I loved is that Isadora Moon's father is just as endearing as his daughter, which makes the story even more enjoyable.

Harriet Muncaster's Isadora Moon stories are a combination of great writing and fabulous drawings. I absolutely love her beautiful books. They're gorgeous in looks and spirit, which makes them incredibly precious. Harriet Muncaster writes in a lovely understanding way filled with dreams, adventures and life. I fell in love with Isadora Moon Goes on a School Trip from the beginning and can't praise this terrific story enough.

Advice

The Isadora Moon books are very special, they're perfect for young readers who are just going to school. The age range is 5-9 and I think parents will enjoy the books just as much as their children. It's best to begin with Isadora Moon Goes to School and all the other Isadora Moon books can be read in random order afterwards.



About Harriet Muncaster


Harriet Muncaster holds two degrees in illustration, including an MA from Cambridge School of Art in England. Her work was Highly Commended for the Macmillan Prize 2011. She works with paper, fabric, and lots of sparkle to create unique miniature worlds and tiny characters, which she photographs to create inspiring scenes for the final book. She lives with her husband in England.

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Interview

1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I'm an author and illustrator based in Bedfordshire, where I live with my husband and baby daughter. I love miniature things and would love to have the power to turn myself into a tiny fairy with wings. I had my first picture book, I am a Witch's Cat, published in 2012 shortly after I finished my master's degree in Children's Book Illustration. Since then, I have had a few more picture and activity books published, but I have spent the last 18 months working on my Isadora Moon series of young reader books. 

2) You're an author and illustrator, how do you work? What comes first, the writing or the drawings?

I usually have an idea for a character in my head first. I draw that character to see how they look, work on their design until I'm happy, and then develop them into a story.

3) Isadora Moon is half fairy half vampire, how did you get the idea to write about such a special mix of features?

Folllowing on from question 2, Isadora Moon started with this picture I drew one day: 


I gave her fangs because they looked cute, but then I thought about why she would have fangs. I decided she must be half-vampire. When I added wings, I realised the other half must be fairy. Her backstory came from just my experiments with different ways she could look.

4) The illustrations are in pink and black, how did you get the idea for this colour mix?

I love contrasts, such as the mix of sugary pink and gothic black. I had already experimented with this style for one of my other characters, Victoria Stitch, so I wanted to carry this over for Isadora Moon: 



5) Can you describe Isadora and her family members in six words each?

Isadora Moon - good-hearted, curious, cute, friendly, relatable, thoughtful

Countess Cordelia Moon (mum) - magical, nature-loving, wild, kind, flowery, sparkly

Count Barholomew Moon (dad) - vain, funny, sleek, naive, playful, nocturnal

Honeyblossom Moon (sister) - sweet, gurgly, likes pink milk

6) Your stories are set in a magical world, how do you bring magic into your own world?

I already mentioned my love of miniatures. One way I bring magic into my own world is through my miniature mascots I make. I love creating outfits and props for them to photograph in miniature scenes. 


I also love to surround myself with pictures that inspire me, so every inch of my studio walls is covered in images, and I have gallery walls all over my house.

7) Drawing children is quite a difficult thing to do, what's the best thing about drawing them and how would you describe your own style?

I struggled with drawing children for a long time. I actually wrote a whole blog post about it: https://harrietmuncaster.co.uk/how-to-draw-children

The best thing about drawing them is that children have lots of energy and are always moving, so you can make their poses and expressions look really dynamic.

8) What are your favorite kind of characters?

I love all sorts of magical characters. Two of my favourites are Dorrie the Witch (from the series by Patricia Coombs) and Tinkerbell the fairy. 

9) What kind of adventure would you really like Isadora to have next?

Well, I'm currently working on the seventh adventure in the Isadora Moon series. It will be out in March 2018 but I can't say too much else about it just yet!

10) Could you tell a bit more about the mediums you use for your art and how they help you with your stories?

I create Isadora Moon using pen and ink and watercolour, then I scan it into the computer to turn into two-colour pink-and-black for printing. I don't know if using this medium helps my stories more than doing the pictures entirely digitally would, but I love writing young reader books as I get to write a more detailed story than I would for a picture book, but I get to draw more pictures (and with pink-colour) than I would if I was writing for a slightly older audience.

11) What are your plans for the future?

For now, I'm continuing to work on Isadora Moon as I still have plenty of ideas for further adventures she could have. During any spare time I have, I've also started writing an older fiction novel based in a world I've been thinking about for a long time. I've no idea if it will get published or not, but that's my current passion project!

Giveaway


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

18 comments:

  1. I like that these books promote that it's good to be different and embraces individuality. The colour and illustrations are charming too. Sounds like a funny, entertaining and enjoyable read for 5-9 year olds.

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  2. Hello! My daughter absolutely loves Isadora Moon, she'll be thrilled that there's new book out :)

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  3. My son would love this book, he loves reading about characters who are different and unusual. Really looking forward to reading this with him.

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  4. this would be great for my daughter, a real reading fan!! I call her my mini-me bookworm!!

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  5. How adorable and fun. Makes me wish I was a young girl again so I could feel that youthful wonder.

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  6. I love the illustrations! Such gorgeous books!

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  7. This artwork is adorable. I love black and pink- those are pretty much the only two colors in my wardrobe! It reminds me a bit of Draculaura from Monster High and I love it. Thanks for the chance to win and for putting these books on my radar! <3

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  8. Ah-mazing! I'd love to read this with my daughter.

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  9. I love the look of these books. Beautiful! And, the themes about acceptance. Would love these books.

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  10. Isadora looks absolutely adorable. I can't wait for my nice to meet her. She'll love the books.

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  11. This looks adorable, I would love to read this and then add it to our library. The illustrations remind me of one of my favourite childhood books, Vlad the Drac.

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  12. Thanks for the great prizes and competition. These look like interesting reads.

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  13. this looks great my daughter would really enjoy this its just her type of style

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  14. amazing prize, perfect for my daughter

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