We’ve literally got a spring in our step to welcome the new season!

childrens book illustrator

Spring has sprung! We’ve just had a wonderful weekend chez Happydesigner, blessed with glorious sunshine, with the days starting frosty, and the nights clear and moonlit.

Spring sunshine, frosty mornings, moonlit nights – sounds like the setting for the opening of a novel! But we digress…

Spring has sprung. Plants are beginning to bud, snowdrops (almost past their best) are being joined by daffodils, and it won’t be long until trees are in leaf – and at Happydesigner, we love trees.

As a nation, we are beginning to feel like we are emerging from a long and very difficult winter – indeed, a difficult year, where coronavirus has kept so many families apart, and so many have lost loved ones.

With the success of the vaccine rollout, and falling Covid 19 cases, we can all feel a little heartened and hopeful that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

There is a saying that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, so as the weeks roll on towards April, we can look forward to longer days, warmer weather, and – all being well – meeting up with friends and family (while of course, following the Covid rules).

Drawing inspiration from spring

Possibly more than any other season, spring has motivated writers to put pen to paper. Here are three of our favourite poems, inspired by this lovely season:

  • I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud – William Wordsworth’s tribute to that favourite of spring flowers, the daffodil.
  • Spring – William Blake’s celebration of the season (“Merrily, merrily we welcome in the year”).
  • Spring – Gerard Manley Hopkins, who wrote, “Nothing is so beautiful as Spring”. How true!

And of course there are many, many books set in spring, especially for children, including ‘Winnie-The-Pooh’s Book of Spring’ and ‘One Springy Day: a Percy the Parkkeeper story’. Percy and Pooh – what wonderful characters for children to enjoy.

If you have a favourite story or poem set in spring, we’d love to know what it is. Why not drop us an email?

What events happen in spring

As well as the burgeoning animal and plant life, spring sees us celebrating a number of festivals. These include the start of the month of Ramadan (from April 12), the Jewish festival of Passover (from March 27), and of course Easter (both a pagan and Christian festival, and perfect also for lovers of chocolate. Easter Sunday is April 4).

On a more secular note, and one that is of great interest to the bookworms here at Happydesigner, is World Book Day, due to take place on March 4.

The aim of this annual event, marked in more than 100 countries around the world, is to:

 “Promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own. Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income. We want to see more children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances this brings them.”

And as children’s book illustrators and lovers of all things literary, we couldn’t agree more.

What do you love about spring?

We thought we’d ask some of our Happydesigner friends what they love about spring, here are some of their comments:

“Spring usually heralds the first concerts of the year as most orchestras programme their concerts by season or term. I’m holding out hope that I’ll get some summer or autumn concerts in this year, after over a year without any.”

“Sounds of birds shouting from bushes and treetops, cuckoos, woodpeckers and larks as they start down the path to nesting season. Also the sound of lawnmowers! That bright sunlight that reminds you your windows need cleaning and the winter dust needs removing.”

“I love early morning dog walks which are less misty or murky, more flowers en route and a general lifting of the spirit. After a pretty flat late January and February, March always feels like springing forward.”

“Longer days seem to give me more of an early evening to enjoy, maybe to go for a walk, or potter around in the garden… things that are usually saved for the weekend can be enjoyed after work too!”

“My east-facing back garden gets no sun in the winter. But the coming of spring brings sunshine and warmth to a corner, warm enough to sit in on a mild day. That brings me joy.”

“Spring blossom and cut grass, public gardens opening and spring concerts.”

childrens book illustrator

So how about spring and Happydesigner?

We love spring. Actually, we love all the seasons, but this one – towards the start of the year – is special. We are full of hope and positivity at the Happydesigner team, and Sarah has a spring in her step as she beavers away on her wonderful designs and illustrations.

The first official day of spring is March 20, and don’t forget the clocks go forward – ‘spring’ forward, if you will – on March 28. 

If you have a spring in your step and are thinking of penning your first children’s book, or have a book ready (or a work in progress) and want illustrations that perfectly complement the text and bring it to life for young readers, then do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

Written by Jo Smyth (www.wordworker.co.uk)

A few of my previous clients

happydesigner clients

  • Sarah really understood the brief right from the beginning and has been able to translate my ideas and mental images, that at times were quite specific, into magical illustrations that are better than I’d ever hoped. She has absolutely nailed it!” – Gareth Edwards

  • Sarah has a great insight into how to best produce a children’s book and is really helpful in getting you there! I really cannot recommend Sarah enough – brilliant designer, friendly and professional. The experience has been a great one!“ – Jodie Jackson
  • "Sarah is amazing - very fast at understanding the requirements, great pictures and never too much trouble. I recommend her wholeheartedly" - Fernando Caldeira-Saraiva
  • “When we first contacted Sarah, Dainty Dizzy was a concept;  an idea to be shaped into a brand.  Sarah took this idea and illustrated it perfectly….and our brand look and feel was born.” – Dainty Dizzy

  • "It's been great working with Sarah as our illustrator! She's been so great in taking all feedback on board and delivers work of the highest standard. Would 100% recommend :-)" - Michelle Gibbs, Doodle Dozen Series
  • “Sarah was lovely to work with and keen to make sure that the illustrations were a perfect match for the story. It’s obvious that she really cares about her work and wants you, the author, to be happy with the final results.” – Marion Adams

  • Sarah is professional, friendly and very knowledgeable, she delivered 100% with a new logo that was spot on! We can't recommend her enough!” - Lucy @ Get Active

  • “Sarah’s re-branding of my business has given it a much needed fresh and quirky feel. She provided us with an extremely friendly courteous and efficient service and injected an energy into the project, that only Sarah could.” – Discovery Leisure

  • "I hope my recommendation will persuade you to use Sarah! I cannot fault her, for her professionalism, enthusiasm and talent." - Michelle Hawkins, Director: The Flying DoDo

  • "I am absolutely thrilled with the colours and love the look and overall feel of the book, its so different and unique, thank you so much"
  • "Thank you both so much for your hard work and dedication. Sarah is a fantastic illustrator! It is nice to know I have worked with someone who is so professional at her job, and will certainly remember her for the future if I need another book illustrating."
  • “I was so nervous ringing you as i've never done anything like this before, but you were so friendly and put me completely at ease.” - Donna Purvis

  • “Books arrived safely today- I am absolutely delighted with how they look – I can’t thank you enough – you’ve made my dream come true :)” – Jane Collins

  • "Sarah quickly understood what I wanted to achieve and the look I was after. Sarah kept me informed and brought me into the whole process” – Darron Jon Love

  • “Thank you, Sarah, for the amazing work you did on the illustrations for my book. Working with you has been so easy thanks to your enthusiasm, flexibility, support, professionalism and, of course, the amazing quality of your work." – Stuart Neath

  • "She has a keen eye for the quirky detail, she is punctual and a joy to work with. I simply cannot praise her enough.” - Clickety Books

  • "Sarah loves her work, her friendly ‘can do’ approach is reassuring whether you’re on your first or tenth book."  – Darron Jon Love
  • "These posters and flyers are perfect”
    - Julia G, Manager at the Truro branch of Pets at Home

  • "Sarah understood what I was looking for and produced a fantastic logo for me.  She is very approachable and friendly – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her” Katie Jarvis, Fancy Prints

  • “Sarah’s advice has been invaluable, she could have just illustrated my first attempt but knew there was more to be had from the story and pointed me towards the right help." – Darron Jon Love

  • "The logos are absolutely fantastic, they are spot on brief and are even better than we imagined!Paolo Pini, Step Up To Languages

  • "WOW! Love it! I'm so happy with what you've produced- and with so little input from me. FANTASTIC!!! THANK YOU” - Darren Pascoe: 'Red Rabbit Book'

  • "I can’t speak highly enough of Sarah! She has brought Roopert Snoopert to life in a way I could never have imagined.
    The illustrations are fantastic! Sarah keeps you update with progress from the draft stage right through to sign off." - Paul Micklewright
  • Sarah is an extremely talented designer and illustrator. She has that rare gift of being able to find something in your business or character that you never knew existed" Craig Green

  • “I am so happy that I found Sarah to bring my book to life. Sarah took the time to listen and really made the effort to make sure that I was happy and her brilliant designs translated the words of my book into a beautiful visual story." - Jodie Jackson

  • "Outstanding illustrator with exceptional talent. You couldn’t wish for a better artist, as it would be impossible to find. Such a spectacular gifted designer who is always happy!" - Rachel Lake