School Visit Preparation

I’m preparing school visits, and have created this activity sheet all about the water cycle which is a very popular topic to learn about in early KS2. It’s from my book WATER with author Catherine Barr and publisher Otter Barry Books. You can download it here.

I’ve also created some creative writing activities: these are postcards to print out and write / draw on! Based on my book ABC The World&Me – choose one of the locations featured and write a postcard home!

I went to Hay Festival!

Wow – I had a fantastic time in Hay-on-Wye and at the festival! I finally met the amazing author Catherine Barr in person after around 2 years of zoom calls whilst working together on our first non-fiction picture book WATER! This book is published by Otter Barry Books and endorsed by Frank Water Charity.

photo credit: Frank Water / description: C Barr and I watching a film by Frank Water on screen on stage.

So I joined Catherine on our event at the festival, introduced myself to the audience as the illustrator and showed a video clip of me in my studio chatting about the making of the artwork of WATER. The kids created super drawings of pink dolphins on their clip boards, following along to my How To Draw A Pink Dolphin video tutorial, and had fun joining in with other exciting freshwater activities.

photo credit: Janetta Otter Barry / description: kids on stage with CB and CE holding stick-on raindrops with freshwater infos

We signed lots of copies of WATER at the festival bookstore afterwards and I’m pleased to say that our book made it onto the Kids’ Books bestselling list of Day10 and also features in Hay’s wrap-up newsletter – alongside other amazing books like Cressida Cowell’s Wizards of Once! (who was there but I missed her as I was there for a short time only – all the way from the Kent coast)

Hay is super lovely and I hope I’ll be back!

If you’ve missed our event at Hay Festival – don’t worry! You can still join in with some of activities at home:

Video draw-alongs / rainforest colouring page / teaching resources

Happy Book Birthday – ABC The World & Me

Yay – my 6th book of the series ABC For Me with Quarto Kids / Walter Foster Jr is out now! Scroll down to find and download the resources I created – colouring in pages of a few interior pages plus a World map! What I love most about this book is that there are popular but also not so well-known places to discover all around the world! It was a lot of fun to research these locations and write the text – this time without rhyme. And remember, if you aren’t planning to travel far anytime soon – it’s just as important and fun to discover places nearby where you live. Or you could do it like me when I researched the places in this book – discover and learn about them virtually, with books (like this one!) or safe online resources. Hope you enjoy ABC Te World & Me!

Interview

I get a lot of questions on how I started my career and how I work as an illustrator, so I’m copying the start of my interview on childrensillustrators, and you can read the whole interview here.

Christiane Engel

Children’s Illustrator

Did you attend art school or undertake any other formal artistic training?

In Germany I went to art school and studied Visual Communication, then I specialised in Animation. I filmed my own animated stories and experimental clips in a variety of techniques, like paint on glass, clay stop motion, scratch on film, and hand drawn cell animation. When I moved to England for further studying, I discovered a huge range of interesting picture books in exciting styles and decided to write and illustrate some, too. more

The Earth Gives More

Now available in paperback by Albert Whitman written by Sue Fliess.

In bustling collage spreads, Engel depicts people engaged in seasonal outdoor activities. Fliess’s rhymes describe the gifts the Earth offers those taking time to treasure them…As the seasons pass, Fliess returns to the phrase “the Earth gives more,” finally closing this genuine celebration of nature with a plea: “Do your part. Use what you know./ Help the Earth to thrive and grow.”

Publishers Weekly

This love letter to our planet serves as a guide for young readers, using rhyming verse to describe what the Earth does for us and the ways in which we can give back… The illustrations are stunning, depicting natural beauty with bold, bright colors, and the images include seasonal projects that a reader might consider, such as cleaning up beaches in the summer, raking leaves in the fall, or filling bird-feeders in winter. The poetry is grounded by the soothing, offbeat refrain, “Still, the Earth gives more,” and it ends with a call to action: “Do your part. Use what you know / Help the Earth to thrive and grow.”

Booklist

Plant Based Meal Planner

I loooooove vegan food, in fact, that’s all I eat. Luckily, these days there is exciting inspiration for plant based food and recipes all around us. Here are some of my top favourite dishes illustrated lovingly be me :). And here is where I get my ideas for new things to try: Tabitha Brown, vfc, Forks Over Knives, Chocolate Covered Katie, Viva, Veganuary, The Vegan Society.

How To Draw A Giant Otter – draw-along clips

Draw-Along with me and learn how to draw some rainforest creatures from by book WATER, written by Catherine Barr and published by Otter Barry. I’d love to see your results. If you’re an educator, check out the teaching resources available for this book, too.