the panda that lost his smile

Here’s a post all about a book I made for Nick just before we got engaged. Back then chronic fatigue slowed my hectic pace of life down to almost a stand still. This meant I had a lot of extra time confined to the four walls of my Thames Court bungalow. Although not particularly impressed with my situation at the time, I can now look back with a massive amount of thankfulness. God had a finely tuned and much more beautiful plan for me than I could have ever thought up myself. A bi-product of much more time spent at home was more opportunity to get stuck in to slightly longer term creative projects. This book is one of those.
I’ve always wanted to illustrate a children's book and after many an enthusiastic discussion with Nick (he was equally enthusiastic I might add), I decided to write and illustrate my own story as a surprise for him. I thought long and hard about what the story should be about and realised it obviously needed to be about Nick himself, with the slight modification of transforming him into a Panda called Cuthbert. Before you ask, no Cuthbert did not get his smile back when he met the panda version of myself. It's funny how many people have asked that question! Now that really would be a bit self indulgent wouldn't it!
What seemed like a fairly straight forward idea was actually quite a lengthy process. As usual I decided to complicate things for myself by collaging everything by hand first before going anywhere near a computer. My carpet got very well aquatinted with snipped bits of newsprint and coloured paper! Finally I found where they allow you to either download their software or upload each page online to create your very own, shiny, new book. There are loads of paper and cover options to suit any project so I would definitely recommend it!
It was an exciting moment to actually receive the printed book in the post, although much more exciting to give the package to Nick! I’d love to make another little book sometime although I’m not sure when I’ll have the time for that in the near future. To spur me on Nick has bought me nearly every book by Oliver Jeffers, which provides endless inspiration! Have a peak it his website. 


  1. That book is actually amazing! Even better in 'real life'! My favourite page was when the panda tried to grow a really long beard :)

  2. I love this soooo much!! seriously, how much is it?? I want to buy it Teri! So much talent!