Upcoming Event: Little Lou and the Woolly Mammoth with Paula Bowles

If you're a fan of beautifully illustrated children's books, you'll want to head over to Frome this Thursday to get a first look at Paula Bowle's latest book, 'Little Lou and the Woolly Mammoth', which is released by Bloomsbury on Thursday 8 May.

'To celebrate the release of my latest book, I am decorating the window of Hunting Raven Books in Frome on Thursday 8 May, as part of Bloomsbury's 'Illustrated Window' project.  I'll be there between 12 and 4pm,' says Paula, one of the Drawn in Bristol studio's talented tenants.

If you're not familiar with Frome, Hunting Raven Books is located on Cheap Street, a picturesque street lined with Tudor fronted shops (and a proper old fashioned record shop), and a tiny stream running through the middle. Paula's book has been hand-picked as their Book of the Week, so they're proudly showing it off with Paula's fun illustrated cut-outs.

'When Little Lou finds a wriggly, squiggly piece of wool amongst her toys, she curiously gives it a tug. But - what's this?  The wool tugs back - and there's something at the other end!  As Little Lou follows the wool, she sees that it's attached to...A giant WOOLLY MAMMOTH!'

I was so enchanted by Paula's illustrations, that I wanted to know more about her process.

'My favourite part of creating a book is in the beginning, storyboarding and piecing the story together like a jigsaw puzzle and watching it take shape.  Words and phrases popping up as I sketch characters and page ideas.  I love playing with words and how they sound when placed in particular ways.

'I thoroughly enjoyed working with the editor and designer at Bloomsbury,' says Paula.  Above is an early sketch of one of the book's spreads, with the final colour version of the spread below.

We also took a peak at one of Paula's storyboards.

'You can see where I've cut parts out and moved them around, taping them in place in different parts of the story,' says Paula.  'This is how my stories develop!'

If you haven't already been charmed enough (which I think is highly unlikely), take a read of this review by The Reading Residence.

'This is a beautifully illustrated book, and a sweet tale of a burgeoning and unlikely friendship,' reads a review from The Reading Residence.  'Initially Little Lou is afraid of the Woolly Mammoth, based on appearances alone, but as he shrinks, she becomes more comfortable with him, and they settle into a happy attachment.'

You can find more of Paula's books and illustrations here.