A child’s grandfather (‘Umpa’) teaches them to read and to follow the words, out the garden gate and all the way to the sea. Every day is a new adventure. They visit castles in the air, feast with friends and sail away on the rains. But then one day, Umpa isn’t there…
A moving tale from author-illustrator Victoria Turnbull speaks of the power of books to bring people together, and to help us remember loved ones when they’re no longer with us.
Turnbull writes on her website: “I love stories. I have always loved stories. However, it was a long time before I could see myself as a storyteller. I was born in York, in the North of England. My childhood was spent drawing and making things. I got in to writing later in life, on a masters degree in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art. It was there I discovered picture books to be the most wonderful way in which to tell stories.”
In this Books for keeps feature she describes how she “combined my pencil drawings in Photoshop and printed them out onto watercolour paper. I used washes of pigment and linseed oil to build up colour before adding more detail in coloured pencil. I wanted this illustration to have a warm colour palette. My own childhood memories have a yellow colour cast like an old photograph. Yellow is the colour of summer; the colour of my grandfather’s favourite flowers; the colour of hope.”