The book began with my daughter, Violet, who asked to stop and watch a bee pollinate a flower on the morning nursery run. The question gave rise to other questions – could I explain how a rainbow forms? How would I describe the science behind a thunderstorm? Could I show her how a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis in a step-by-step story that doesn't feature a screen?
It grew to include 50 moments like these that happen around us everyday, all around the world. Visualised by our art director, Nicola Price, the book is designed to help us look outside and be amazed by nature. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have loved making it with illustrator Freya Hartas, who has written a bit about her journey with the book here for us
How did you approach the first spreads?
Slow Down has been my first step into the world of non-fiction and so I approached it slightly differently to my usual narrative work. The first few spreads were an important introduction to learning the new process and gave me an idea of how the rest of the book would come together. I started each spread by looking carefully at the reference photos and videos provided with the brief and also did a bit of my own research (usually on Pinterest) to find images of the animal or plant from all different angles so I could build a 3d picture in my head. I'd then rough out the panels with help from the reference images without relying on them too much as I wanted the final illustration to be totally unique.