Saturday, December 18, 2010

Guest Post from The Dino Man: Paul Stickland

Welcome friends! Hope the weekend is finding you well today!

I am excited to once again introduce you to Paul Stickland. Paul Stickland is the author, illustrator and pop up book designer of many, many children's books and father to Rowan 27, Felix 17, Gus and Kit 15, Arthur 9 and Tabitha 20 months, all of whom had a lot of bedtime stories and some of whom still do! He lives in an rickety tall house in an ancient stone town in deepest Dorset in England and when not drawing dinosaurs and diggers likes to make a lot of noise with his partner Helen in their band. I invited Paul back to The DaddyYo Blog today to talk about his life as an author and dad of six. It has been my pleasure to meet him on Twitter and find out that he authored three of Little Man's favorite dinosaur books. So before I waste any more time, please welcome Paul, in his own words.

You'd think that with six kids that there would be enough monsters in the house without having to invent more! Yeh, I have got one crazy job, I'm the author and illustrator of many, many children's books, a job which has somehow kept me really close to my inner child. From dinosaurs, through bears and trucks and diggers and dinosaurs and yet more dinosaurs, it's been a blast. I do this all day and guess what I love best? Reading to my kids at bedtime.
I have spent the last (eek!) thirty years drawing on the years of bedtime stories from my Mum. Reading those self same stories to my kids now, I can so readily hear my Mum and I giggling at some silly story, as if yesterday.
I used to lie in bed, trying to stay awake, just waiting for my Dad to come home for the latest episode of some wonderful made up adventure, conjured up after hours commuting home from work. Incredibly, I can still recall the sound of his voice and the images that my young brain conjured up fifty years on.
What a gift to any child, possibly the greatest blessing you can bestow on your children. So simple, short minutes wrapped in each other's attention, the intimacy of sharing the unfolding pages, the giggles and the guessing of what lies beyond the confines of the book, learning and sharing. Drifting off to sleep with a cast of crazy characters as companions. Revealing a treasury of imagination and love of reading that will extend right through to their children and grandchildren in turn.
There are so many fabulous children's books out there, bewildering choices. How to choose? Think back to the books that really moved you when you were small, if they worked for you, they are probably still around. Find a 'proper' bookseller, someone with a similarly nurtured passion for literature, they are out there and they need your support. Sorry Amazon, you shift the bulk but you have yet to introduce me to anything I didn't already know.
For me, it was the odd quirky books that got me going, the sometimes dark tales that thrilled. The books full of hints and feelings, of atmospheres and mysteries.The titles that risk averse and often bland modern publishers sadly avoid.My grandfather, the artist, author and illustrator Geoffrey Squire, had shelves full of dark Victorian tales that used to fascinate and enthral, may of which I now have in my library.
If you want a starting point for unusual and imaginative tales, the brilliant Lane Smith and Bob Shea have a site  Curious Pages  full of classic and quirky books that have stood the test of time. So yes, read and read some more, you'll love it, they'll love it and you will build a legacy and memories that will be with them and you forever.

Thanks again Paul for sharing this today! For more info, check out

But hold on! Last week I was excited to announce a giveaway: A signed copy of "Ten Terrible Dinosaurs" and "Dinosaur Roar" from Paul. The contest ended last night and we have a winner!!!

A huge round of applause for @3pugsandbaby, the winner of "Ten Terrible Dinosaurs" and "Dinosaur Roar" from Paul Stickland! Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who entered for their chance! Check out Paul's online bookstore for more ROARING rad dinosaur books and revving awesome books about big trucks!

Thanks for stopping by today! Hope you all have a great weekend!

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