Today we had a visit from William Grill, illustrator and author.
William spoke to children at Shinfield St Mary’s School and Southlake and Highwood Primary School today.
Will, spoke about how he got into Illustration and what inspired him to create his two books Shackleton’s Journey and The Wolves of Currampaw. The children got to see the sketch’s and illustration process. Will sketched and encouraged the children to try drawing themselves. It was a very inspiring visit for all.
Shackleton’s Journey by William Grill
In August 1914, Ernest Shackleton and his brave crew set out to cross the frozen wastes of Antarctica, in what was to be the last expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Ahead of them lay unimaginable danger – ferocious seas, uncharted mountains, ice and snow. This is the true story of how Shackleton and his companions endured the hardships they faced, and ultimately managed to survive their perilous adventure. To mark the 100th anniversary of the expedition, illustrator William Gill has created a beautiful and sophisticated non-fiction book for children, which retells Shackleton’s story. Informative text is combined with a wealth of detailed coloured-pencil drawings in Gill’s distinctive style, which create a strong sense of atmosphere. Each page layout is beautifully designed, making clever use of white space that itself seems to evoke the bleak, frozen wastelands of the Antarctic landscape.
The tale of a long-ago, failed Antarctic journey may seem a niche subject for a children’s book, but there is plenty here to capture the imagination. Young readers will be intrigued by the heroism of Shackleton and his crew, as well as attracted by some of the quirkier elements, such as the individual drawings of all 99 of Shackleton’s sled dogs. Carefully-researched, with lots of factual detail and a useful glossary of terms, this is an unusual, thought-provoking and very attractive work of non-fiction.
The Wolves of Currumpaw illustrated and written by William Grill
1892, New Mexico. A wolfpack roams the Currumpaw Valley, preying on the cattle and evading capture by the exasperated local ranchmen. Due to his knowledge of wolf behaviour, a British naturalist by the name of Ernest Thompson Seton is employed to hunt down their notorious pack leader, King Lobo… A moving re-telling of the first short story from Ernest Thompson Seton’s 1898 classic collection, Wild Animals I Have Known, this is the second book from CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal award winner William Grill.
The large format of this book allows the reader a great visual experience, echoing the vast plains of New Mexico. The beautifully rendered dust jacket and end papers, inspired by Navajo and Hopi designs, usher the reader into this atmospheric tale. The colour palette is chosen with utmost care and the technique of sweeping pencil strokes evoke the setting and easily allow the scale of the desert to show the insignificance of man and wolf in the whole area. This book works on many levels, from the unobtrusive typography telling the story, the tactile nature of the endpaper illustrations to the synergy between illustration style and the setting of the tale. Text and images and are all carefully placed on the page, underlining the scale of the desert; whilst the movement of the wolves is so simply expressed.
Will’s books can be borrowed for any of our libraries by visiting our library catalogue: https://wokingham.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/OPAC/BSEARCH