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26th October 2012, 10:47am
New book cover designed by Illustration graduate
Ian Purdy and Sally Townsend A design created by an Illustration graduate from the University of Lincoln is featured on the front cover of a new children’s book.

Sally Townsend, a BA (Hons) graduate, attended the official launch of A Boy Arrives along with local author Stephen Meek, publisher Hawkwood Books and guest speaker Penguin international author Dr Karen Maitland.

Sally Townsend, who has also recently completed a series of illustrations for Bloomsbury publishers, said: “I met Stephen purely by chance as he came to the end of year Illustration show. He came over and started talking about his book saying he didn’t have a cover for it. He sent me the first few chapters and I really loved the story. Stephen gave me full creativity which is fantastic. It’s been quite a long process so it’s great to finally see the finished product.”

A Boy Arrives tells the story of Grimwood Streep and his ancient butler rattling about Dunnydark Hall. But things soon become a lot more interesting when a little boy called Jimbo turns up to put the sparkle back in their lives.

Stephen, who was long-listed for A Boy Arrives in The Times/Chicken House competition for Best Children’s Book in 2008, said: “It’s a story about redemption and how this little boy teaches the adults how to live again. Sally’s done a great job with the front cover - it really grabs your attention. I sent it along with the book to Hawkwood and they got back to me immediately to say they’d like to publish it.”

An animation of a scene from the book was commissioned especially for the event. It was created by University of Lincoln third year Animation student Mat Dame.

He said: “I am a big fan of children’s books as I think a lot more consideration into the design is given. Animation for children is something I would ideally like to go into once I graduate. The great thing about this project is that Stephen gave me free reign and the story was a fantastic source to work from.”

Also in attendance were other graduates, such as Ian Purdy who graduated from BA (Hons) Illustration in 2007 and has gone on to illustrate a number of books for Hawkwood, along with a group of third year illustration students who were all encouraged to hear about the increasing opportunities in the world of publishing.

Speaking at the launch, Professor Norman Cherry Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of College of Arts, said: “The University is delighted to be associated with Hawkwood Books. It’s the cover that persuades people in bookshops to actually pick a book up and open the pages. The combination of illustrator, author and sympathetic publisher is desperately important and that is what has been a huge success in this instance.”

A Boy Arrives is available now from Waterstones, Amazon and other book sellers. Go to for more information.

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