Rock Monsters By Samantha Webb

One night whilst Harrison Webbling was sat watching television and I was sat drawing in my sketchbook, these guys just materialised in front of me. I was feeling more than a little grumpy because of the heat, yes, I moan when it is too hot, sorry! My mood doesn’t always show itself quite so literally in my art work but on this particular evening I definitely felt an affinity towards these grumpy little rock monsters and if you find inspiration you have to run with it.

Sketchbook birth of rock monsters.

The two rock monsters at the bottom were highly inspired by my Webblings who were arguing over who had the last ice cream at this point because apparently neither one of them liked ice lollies anymore which is what the freezer is full of (and what they have both been enjoying since the ice creams have run out!), but rock monsters have absolutely no interest in ice cream or ice lollies, they just want to crunch gemstones. These were my favourites so I decided to photograph my sketchbook and colour them digitally. You may have already seen them on my instagram feed.

Gimmie.

Well it seems that my new little characters have really taken up residence in my mind because I now cannot stop painting them. The little guy below is painted in Ferris Wheel Press ink and is fishing for tasty geodes, he doesn’t seem overly enthusiastic does he? This is the first one that I drew with more pronounced eye balls and I think I prefer it because it shows a little more expression. I feel like his little bird friend is actually his foreman tweeting instructions to the rock monster.

Gone Fishin’

When I said I can’t stop painting them, I wasn’t kidding, I can’t. I painted these four in watercolours and edited them in procreate to erase the background and add a little highlight. These grouchy little rock monsters have a real place in my heart now and I am sure that they are going to make a few more appearances in my work in the future. Are they loveable enough little monsters?

I am very tempted to create a book about them, I think that when this heat subsides a little (it may have by the time that this blog post comes out) that I need to take a trip to Dartmoor and go and find their story, I have a feeling that it is up there somewhere running wild and waiting to be captured.

I hope that you enjoyed meeting my rock monsters.

Samantha.

Webb Review – The Crows IN The Chimney Pot By The Bax Family

Written by Stacy Bax and illustrated by Eldon and Elodie Bax aged 5 and 6 years old. This book is full of beautiful paintings of birds that can be found in the garden. It is informative and descriptive with a spread for each bird that the crows meet. The crows are the main characters and they are so charming, the get happier and more delighted to see each bird as the story goes on, a great use of synonyms for ‘nice’. It is a great story that will help children learn more about the wildlife around them.

The illustrations are definitely charming and wholesome. They really bring the story to life and make you want to see more birds around. Living by the sea we mainly see seagulls but perhaps we need to keep our eyes open a little more to spot some others. My personal favourite is the robin but Harry really liked the starling.

I think that the story would really appeal to children who love animals just like Harry does. It is really bright and colourful and has a lot of information without feeling like a lesson. It is also inspirational to children who love art to see a child being published in a real book. The love and attention that has gone into this by the Bax family is evident and I think that it will show a lot of aspiring illustrators that if they put the effort in, they could have books of their own too.

This is not the first of Stacy’s books that I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing and I sincerely hope that it won’t be the last because I would love to see how these young artists develop.

You can get your own copy, available now from Shookbop.

5 Webs out of 5.

Harrison gave this book 5 webs out of 5 and I have to agree with him. I would really have liked to see some photographs of the birds perhaps at the back of the book too so that we could see them ‘in real life’ however it did give us a chance to have a look on the internet and see lots of photos of these beautiful birds.

Huge thank you to the publisher Stour Valley Publishing for sending this book for our review, all of the opinions are our own.

Thank you for reading,

Samantha and Harrison.

When Georgie Grows Up is Available Now!

When Georgie Grows Up is available now!

I am so excited to be able to finally share my new book with you all, after months of planning, writing, rewriting and drawing, I can honestly say that I am truly proud of the finished book. It is bright, colourful and really fun. It does have a message about eating your veg but really it is just a whole lot of fun!

When Georgie Grows Up is the story of a very imaginative child who, like most of us, is not too keen on the thought of eating vegetables.

When asked “Don’t you want to grow up big and strong?” Georgie’s imagination takes them to all of the amazing things that the future might hold, each more magnificent than the next. But will it be enough to get Georgie to eat the vegetables?

Full of colour and fun, When Georgie Grows Up is a fun fictional story that will hopefully get you all wondering just what you would do when you grow up (if you could take all the sensible answers away of course!). Go on fantastical digs to the centre of the earth or up into the sky on a trampoline, there are no limits to the imagination.

Written and illustrated by Samantha Webb (that’s me!) and published by my own independent imprint Moby and Puddle Books, this bright and bold book will get your imagination flowing, perfect for bedtimes to drift off to sleep wondering about all of the fun that you will have when you grow up.

Available now on Folksy and Amazon.

The Webb family all have big ideas for when they grow up!

Jamie, Lilly and Harry have all helped to celebrate the release of my newest book, they even shared what they would like to do when they grow up!

Alfie (shown below) told me that when he grows up he wants to be a diplodocus which makes me very happy indeed and his beautiful baby sister Betsy loved all of the bright colours!

Alfie even has a hidden Cornling in his photo!
Betsy and her mummy enjoying When Georgie Grows Up.

I would love to hear what you think about Georgie and her wild imagination,

Thank you for reading,

Samantha Webb.

Webb Review – The Bee Like Me by James Gibson

Written and illustrated by James Gibson, The Bee Like Me is the story of Molly who loves to be outside and enjoys living a wild existence until she realises that her actions are having a negative impact on the wildlife around her, specifically one special little bee. Molly learns all she can to help the little bee get better.

The story is inspirational, Molly has a problem and she takes very assertive steps to solve it. Researching and working hard to find out what she needs to do to make up for her destructive behaviour. Molly goes on a real soul searching adventure in this delightful story but don’t worry it isn’t preachy or condescending at all. The narrative is cheerful and has a great rhythm.

All of the illustrations in the book are charming on the surface, the cover is particularly engaging. Dig a little deeper, take a look at what s going on in the backgrounds and the illustrations are actually pretty hilarious, the tiny details and added storylines are not to be missed and really elevate the book to a new level. The additional children’s drawingesque images in the blank spaces fill the entire book with colour and fun. James Gibson is a fantastic illustrator, it is great to read his story too.

The Bee Like Me is an amazing book with so many positives to tell you about, this might be one of the best books that Harrison and I have read in a while. I am not sure that putting any kind of glue on a bee is a great idea but honestly in the context of this story it fits and is perfect.

The inclusion of the main characters unique characteristics comes later in the story and I do not want to give it away in this review but I think that Molly is a real role model and perhaps her incredible abilities should be bought to the attention of the readers beforehand since this book could really be beneficial if it were in the hands of the right audience. My apologies if that is completely cryptic but buy yourself a copy of the book and you will understand, I would recommend you have it in your collection anyway!

The Bee Like Me is Available now from Shookbop.

We awarded 5 out of 5 webs.

Harrison gives The Bee Like Me 5 out of 5 webs because the story was enjoyable, the pictures were brilliant and Harrison thinks that the more bee books the better!

Thank you so much for reading,

Samantha and Harrison x

New Book Cover Reveal … When Georgie Grows UP

I am so excited to share the cover for my new book with you, I really hope that you love it because Georgie is very excited!

Brand New Book Cover!

When Georgie Grows Up is the story of a very imaginative child who isn’t really sure that the promise of eating their vegetables is really worth growing up big and strong for! A 32 page long picture book in full colour which will take you to the moon and to the depths of the ocean.

Georgie is an intentionally non-binary character so that as many of the children reading the story can identify with Georgie’s wild imagination as possible!

What do you want to do when you grow up? Are your dreams as outrageous as Georgie? Read my brand new story when it is released on 20th June 2022.

You can preorder your copy now from my Folksy shop or get it on release day from my Amazon book shelf! All preorders will come with an extra special gift too!

When Georgie Grows Up Blurb.

The book is almost ready to go to print and has been dedicated to three of my beautiful nieces and nephew, Bonnie, Betsy and Noah. Being surrounded by children keeps me young and my imagination overflowing, I am very lucky to be their aunty.

Thank you for joining in with my excitement as it draws closer to launch day, there will be plenty to look out for across my social media accounts!

Samantha x

Webb Review – Six Year Old Sidney The Skateboarding Boy

Six Year Old Sidney The Skateboarding Boy is written and illustrated by Dan Bryant, the story of a six year old who loves nothing more than skateboarding and who practices really hard so that he can compete in a skateboarding competition. He is determined to compete even when his old skateboard is feeling more tired than it ought to for a competition.

Sidney is only six but full of passion.

The book is bright and colourful with the bold blue of the cover working as a background for the text. The illustrations are fantastic, they remind me of an old show on Nickelodeon called Doug and just like those, the illustrations are full of life and energy. I just adore how Sidney sticks his little tongue out while he is concentrating, possibly because both Harrison and I do that too.

The story is really empowering and teaches that if you keep showing up and putting in the effort then people will take notice, you may not get exactly what you were hoping for but you might get exactly what you need and that might just be even better than you hoped. Harry was really intrigued by the idea of a six year old being so great at a sport like skateboarding, it is very impressive.

Harry really likes Sidney.

I had thought at first that you needed to know some skate terminology and other than a few bits I picked up from Mr Webb playing skate games on the playstation many moons ago, I have no idea what some of them meant. So I was very glad to find the glossary in the back of the book that explained some of the terms to us. Despite being 10 and owning two skateboards, I am sad to say that Harrison is not a skater and much prefers to keep his feet firmly on the ground. The glossary of terms was very useful and Harry has been inspired to give his skateboard another go soon.

The story is great and the illustrations are charming, perhaps we will get an update when Sidney skates in his next competition.

Harrison awarded 5 out of 5 webs.

Six Year Old Sydney The Skateboarding Boy is available now from Shookbop.

This book was sent for review by the publisher Stour Valley Publishing and the opinions are all our own.

Thank you so much for reading our review,

Samantha and Harrison.

10 Titles Available!!!

I have always loved children’s books, I have kept a collection throughout my life and it keeps growing. I wanted to be a children’s author my entire life and I didn’t truly think that it would be possible. So I can’t get my head around it, I am celebrating, it seems unbelievable to me but I now have 10 books available on Amazon. All children’s books but they are done in a variety of art mediums. I love creating books but love to learn about new techniques and to combine them where possible. If you have read much of my blog you will see that I really enjoy experimenting with all kinds of art supplies. Five of the ten have been created from fibre art (felting and embroidery), two have watercolour illustrations and three have digital illustrations. They each have their own benefits and I have two books which I am currently working on, one with watercolours and the other with digital illustrations.

10 books seems like a milestone and an achievement despite the fact that I am pretty useless at marketing so my sales are slow. I am really proud of every single one of my books and I really feel that they are getting better and better with each book.

I have heard rumours that the Amazon algorithm gods are pleased once you reach 10 books and will start placing your titles higher in the searches but I am yet to see any evidence of this, maybe I will do in the coming months. I am aware that getting reviews on your books helps the most but it is very difficult to get the reviews because when Amazon sends books out to people I never find out who purchased it or where in the world it even went.

Amazon books are great quality in my experience. I have had one really peculiar book arrive that had different pages inside but Amazon were really good at replacing it straight away. I do feel a little out of control with the books because I can’t quality control each and every one of them before they are posted out but having the print on demand available on Amazon has meant that I can produce quality books without a massive upfront cost which I wouldn’t be able to afford so my stories would be relegated to my sketchbooks forever. I am really grateful to Amazon for allowing me to follow my dreams.

If you are thinking of publishing your own book on Amazon, through Kindle Direct Publishing it can seem daunting at first but you have unlimited amounts of edits before you press that ‘publish’ button and you can even order sample copies of your books before they get published so that you can check everything is as you want it. I would suggest that you purchase your own ISBN numbers though, you can get free ones from Amazon however if you use these then you are not permitted to sell your books through other avenues. I personally choose to sell through Folksy so that I can offer signed copies, I have books in a couple of independent book shops and I sell at festivals and events which would not be possible with the Amazon ISBN allocated numbers. That feeling of holding your final product in your hands after months of hard work is one of the best feelings in the world. Seeing a child enjoy your story tops that even more!

My characters make me very happy.

I feel like I am just at the beginning of my creative journey, I have not even got off the starting spot when it comes to marketing and I have so many more stories to tell. Have you read any of my books? which is your favourite? I would love to hear from you.

Harry says he would give all my books 5 out of 5 webs but he is completely biased!

Harry in Sass’s forest.

Thanks for reading my blog,

Samantha x

The winner of the Sass Feels Lonely giveaway is @kindshop.co.uk thank you so much to everyone who entered on Facebook and Instagram.

Sass Feels Lonely Update

Sass Feels Lonely is the first book that I have written with very simple sentence structures which appeal to younger readers and reluctant readers or those who struggle with more complex books but still want a bright picture book to read. The pages only have one sentence each and children can learn the book easily through repetition which in my experience (as a mummy having to read the same stories over and over again) gives children a sense of accomplishment which can guide them towards a love of reading in the future.

Sass Feels Lonely now available on Amazon and Folksy.

My original story for Sass was much longer and more in depth but as I was writing it I became aware that Sass could tell his story through the images as much as the text which would give children more freedom to develop Sass’s story in their own imaginations.

Sass is very proud of his book.

I am incredibly proud of Sass so when the publisher sadly had to withdraw from publication and close down, I knew that I wanted to independently publish Sass Feels Lonely under my own publishing brand Moby and Puddle Books. I have spent the last few weeks taking the necessary steps to do so and I am happy to announce that Sass Feels Lonely is now available on Amazon.

Very proud author pic!

I also have limited amounts available on Folksy which are the first edition copies that I have purchased from the now defunct publishers. You can even find keyrings there too!

Sass is so fluffy!

To celebrate the release of the second edition of Sass Feels Lonely I have decided to run a giveaway across my facebook and instagram accounts. It will run until Midnight on Monday 4th April and winner announced on my blog Tuesday 5th April. There will be two winners, the first will win a signed copy of the book and a soft toy that looks a little like Sass (a cousin perhaps?) and the second will win a signed copy of the book with a Sass keyring and sticker. Due to ongoing postal issues the giveaway will be exclusively UK based.

Ends April 4th 2022.

I hope that however you get your hands on your copy of Sass, that you enjoy it and that you fall in love with this big fluffy creature who lives in the forest just as much as I have. One setback won’t stop him, after all Sass is on the lookout for more friends!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Samantha Webb.

Sass loves reading about Sass!

Webb Review – Professor Von Schmell and his Fart Powered Bike by Leon Howlett and James Gibson

Written by Leon Howlett, Professor Von Schmell and his Fart Powered Bike is as random as they come. It is a little bit of mayhem wrapped up in a glorious story about inventors and a race. If you don’t like your children to read books about farting, burping or other bodily functions then at least it is right there on the cover for you to see and keep away from. It isn’t hiding anything or pretending it is some great moral story, it is however blatant fun in the form of a picture book.

Harry is 10 years old and he finds farts and burps hilarious, why wouldn’t he? life is far too serious as it is, especially at the moment, so seeing him giggle and chuckle as we read this book was brilliant. He is also a massive fan if inventors and crazy inventions (he adores Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs) so this book definitely fell into the hands of its target market and we thank Stour Valley Publishing for sending it to us for review.

If I had to pick at anything, (As seems to be the thing that I complain about most in childrens books) it would be the lack of punctuation. It really makes it a lot more difficult to read out loud, maybe this is just me? But the right punctuation or even the wrong punctuation but in the right place really does help the rhythm of a book keep going, especially when it is a rhyming book. This book is not great with punctuation and has very little on some pages. When it has a second edition which I think it will, this would be a massive improvement.

The illustrations by James Gibson are fantastic, our favourite being the parrot in his dressing gown which really is worth buying this book for. James has a way of creating humour within the story and also in the background with so many different details that keep you lingering on each page more than you otherwise would. I am a big fan of James Gibson’s work and think that the book is worth getting to enjoy the artwork as much as the story.

Available now from Shookbop.

5 out of 5 webs awarded.

Harrison awarded 5 webs out of 5, ignoring the lack of punctuation due to the amount that the book made him laugh and laugh. We are sure to read this one again and look forward to reading more from both Leon Howlett and James Gibson.

Thank you for reading,

Samantha and Harrison.