Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 20, 2022

Book Giveaway: WHOSE TRACKS IN THE SNOW? by Alexandra Milton

Alexandra Milton has written and illustrated a new picture book, WHOSE TRACKS IN THE SNOW? and published by Boxer Books and coming out on November 22nd. They have agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US and UK.

Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Alexandra.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. If you want to make sure you don’t miss seeing that you won, please click “Notify Me of Follow-Up Comments by Email” box. I will leave a comment in reply if you win the book. Thanks!


BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A great natural-history picture book that introduces children to animal tracks.

Look! Look!
Tracks in the Snow!
Who do they belong to?
Where do they go?

Whose Tracks in the Snow? is an informative and special picture book by the author/illustrator of Who Is in the Egg? It features hares, ducks, foxes, deer, and more.

BOOK JOURNEY:

Snow: crisp, white, translucent…
There are so many beautiful things in the natural world and snow is one of the most beautiful of all. For many years I’ve wanted to illustrate a book which had snow as its central feature. There were several big challenges. Would I be able to reproduce the texture of snow? To convey the feeling of wonder that one gets when stepping out into a world covered by a white blanket?

Reading a book with children can create the opportunity for precious bonding moments. Even more so, with books that encourage interaction between adults and children. That is why I liked the idea of creating a book that was also a game – a guessing-game – which would give children the chance to find out more about the natural world.

I had previously written and illustrated a book called “Who is in the Egg”: it shows a variety of different eggs, and children have to guess the creature that might be in each one. There are some big surprises…

For my new project, I wanted to create a book along similar lines, but this time with the addition of a treasure hunt. It would enable adults and children alike – without leaving the comfort of their armchair – feel like they’re going for a winter walk in the woods together.

The book is also a bit of a detective mission which revolves around identifying the different types of tracks. Do the tracks reveal clues about the animal that left them? Is that animal still hiding somewhere in the forest?

My publishing team were enthusiastic when I mentioned the idea: they asked me to produce a few sample pictures which they could show at the Bologna Book Fair for children’s books. I looked for some atmospheric photos of winter scenes, of animals, and their tracks. I also began gathering the various types of paper I’d need before getting started on this new project.

My artistic technique is quite different from most illustrators. I work exclusively in collage and – over the years – have assembled a huge collection of largely handmade paper. To make my images, I tear the paper into the required shapes and then stick the pieces together in overlapping layers until I achieve the desired effect. I create the animals separately (also in collage) before adding them to the scene, using coloured crayons for the final touches. It’s a very “hands on”, crafttechnique. All the work is original: I never use a computer for my illustrations.

Once I had produced my initial pictures, my publishers turned them into a mock-up book which they showed at the Bologna Book Fair. It was well-received and I got the green light to crack on with the project. I also asked my husband – a best selling author (who wrote the text for my first two books) to have another look at the rhythm and rhyme of the story.

One of the most exciting stages of the book-creating process is when I hand the illustrations to David Bennett and Leilani Sparrow who run Boxer Books – a small, exclusive and very hands-on publishing house. They spend many hours working on the layout, as well as the final version of the text. Each time, it’s joy to see how they turn my original art-work into a finished book that will hopefully fire the imaginations of both children and adults alike!

ALEXANDRA’S BIO:

Alexandra Milton is an artist and illustrator. Her chosen media is collage. She has developed a unique artistic style, collecting paper from around the world which she tears and weaves into a multitude of layers to represent animals, birds and plants.

Born in Paris, Alexandra grew up watching her father, the distinguished German-born watercolour artist Wolfram (Aichele), at work. His teaching, together with his personal style and subtle use of colour, have been crucial to her artistic development.

Visits to the studio of her artist grandfather Erwin Aichele have also influenced Alexandra’s work: among her most vivid childhood memories are the birds in their aviaries, the studio filled with stuffed animals and the smell of turpentine.

It is from Erwin that Alexandra inherited the urge to capture in colour and shape the beauty of the animal world.

The story of both artists is described in the book: Wolfram, the boy who went to war by Giles Milton (Hodder&Stoughton).

Alexandra’s work was first exhibited in 2009 in Germany when she participated in a major exhibition of the works of her grandfather, father, her brother, the jeweller Benedikt Aichele, and four of her cousins : artists, jewellers, photographers and illustrators.

She was then represented by the Rebecca Hossack gallery, London who has shown her work throughout the world and taken it to in major international fairs.

Alexandra now lives in London with her husband, the writer Giles Milton, and her daughters.

Alexandra thank you for sharing you book and journey with us. This is a gorgeous book. Your use of paper in the collages you have created is amazing. Each page leaves the reader feeling like they are walking through soft fluffy snow. I love how you added the fun of a guessing-game within your book that helps children learn more about nature and the world around them. This is a book, adults will want to show off to friends and children will treasure for the rest of their lives. Wishing you the best with the book.

Alexandra is being featured on Illustrator Saturday in January; so please check back. She will be talking more about her process.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Those illustrations are gorgeous! I can’t wait to read this book. I subscribe to your blog and I tweeted about the giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity. https://twitter.com/rosihollinbeck/status/1594219551499042818

    Like

  2. This book calls out to be touched. Congratulations!

    Like

  3. What beautiful art technique! I love collage and am amazed at how artists achieve their finished product with it. I subscribe, tweet, and will reblog this post.

    Like

  4. Having just moved East from California and enjoying my first snowfall today, this book speaks to me! Would love to read it to neighboring kiddies.

    Like

  5. What a lovely book! As a retired wildlife biologist, I can’t wait to see this. Congratulations!

    Kathy,
    I follow your blog and I’ve reposted this to Facebook and Twitter.

    Like

  6. I love how fun this makes winter and learning about animal footprints. My kids would definitely love it!

    Like

  7. Reblogged this on Darlene Beck-Jacobson and commented:
    Such a beautiful book…I had to share!

    Like

  8. I enjoy reading books like this with kids because of the fun discussions and interactions. This artwork is so beautiful and unique. I’m an email subscriber and shared on Twitter, Facebook, tumblr, and Pinterest.

    Like

  9. What a wonderful addition and companion this will be to Jim Arnosky’s “Wild Tracks”! Beautifully illustrated, enhancing the text beautifully! I would love to use this with my nature poets!

    Like

  10. You are a true artist. I love what you have accomplished creating this book. It’s a perfect book for forest school students.

    Like

  11. The illustrations are stunning! I love that Alexandra incorporated a “treasure hunt” for the animals making the tracks, but also wonderful factual side bars. This is indeed one to share with kids & friends! Thanks Kathy. (I am a subscriber and I shared on Twitter & FB).

    Like

  12. What an exquisite book! Love the poems and the illustrations that capture the fascination and the beauty of following footprints.

    Like

  13. This book looks beyond amazing! The luxurious textures and patterns used give the feeling of such depth. Truly gorgeous! I follow your blog, Kathy. And I’m sharing on Twitter.

    Like

  14. This is so beautiful! I love the nature theme and the art is gorgeous! Congrats, Alexandra!

    I follow by email and I tweeted this post.

    Like

  15. My niece would love this book!

    Like


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