Saturday, 27 June 2015

Hiccups! proofs are in..!

Photo of the Hiccups! proofs
Hurrah!! They are in!

I was very happy to recently receive the colour proofs for my next picture book with Frances Lincoln. The title of this book is 'Hiccups!', and it is the very first book where I am both the author and illustrator... eek!!

This little story was inspired by two special people and two special dogs in my life... My niece May and her dog Max, and my bestie Beth and her dog Osca.

Without giving too much away, the story follows the two main characters who are working through a rather irritating/tricky issue together. As inspired be the relationship between May and Max, and Beth and Osca, it's all about the strong bond between the two of them... and you can find out a little more when it comes out in Spring 2016...

To be continued...

Summer Reading Challenge has started!!!

Both myself and author Margi McAllister are very excited and proud to have '15 Things Not to do with a Baby' included in this year's list for the Summer Reading Challenge run by The Reading Agency. This is the UK's biggest reading promotion for children. Those participating could have the opportunity to become a Guinness World Record title holder.

You can sign up for this year's challenge by popping into your local library, selecting six books of your choice, collecting stickers and other awards along the way.

If you live in Sunderland, you can check out See it do it, to stay up-to-date with events taking place at libraries across the city.

And don't forget to grab a read of '15 Things Not to do with a Baby', of course.  :)

Happy Reading!! x

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Borders Book Festival, 2015

With my wonderful agent Kathryn Ross outside Harmony House
Melrose Abbey, looking through Harmony Garden
Last weekend I travelled to Melrose to host my very first festival event at the Borders Book Festival

BBF is set in the National Trust for Scotland's glorious Harmony Garden, offers a vastly diverse programme of events for all ages and is organised by a friendly and passionate group of people.

I was honoured to be amongst such talented authors and illustrators in this year's programme, such as Vivian French, David Almond, Nick Sharratt and David Melling.

The wonderful families who took part in my storytelling and drawing event discovered how I created my characters for 15 Things Not to do with a Baby, had the opportunity to create some of their very own and had a sneak preview of my next book to launch with Frances Lincoln Children's Books in Spring 2016. 

The event was followed by a book signing in the Harmony Garden Bookshop where we had the opportunity for a little more chatting...!!

Enthusiastic families getting down to some illustration 
Little faces!
Harmony Garden Festival Bookshop

Thank you very much to Borders Book Festival for the invitation and the brilliant organisation! Look forward to being back in Melrose again soon!

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Independent on Sunday

The Independent on Sunday
On a journey from Sunderland to Liverpool last Sunday, I was extremely happy to receive messages on social media telling me that I was in The Independent, with 15 Things Not to do with a Baby being listed as one of the '12 Best Children's Books of 2015'.

I've been totally overwhelmed with people's responses to my first picture book and this news has absolutely topped it off... with a full spread in the paper and a HUGE image from the book. It is such an honour to be amongst talent such as David Walliams, Tony Ross, Jacqueline Wilson, Nick Sharratt and Sally Gardner.

Here is the review of the book in the article...

Review by Rebecca Davis, Saturday 28 March 2015
Older brothers and sisters will appreciate Margaret McAllister and Holly Sterling’s 15 Things Not to Do with a Baby (Frances Lincoln, £11.99), a humorous take on the conflicting emotions that younger siblings can inspire.

The 15 illustrated tips range from not letting the baby play with an elephant to more worryingly-plausible suggestions, such as not wrapping the baby in brown paper with a view to popping him or her in the post. It also offers a few handy hints about what you should do with a baby and will prove a useful tool in teaching toddlers the benefits of caring and sharing.

15 Things Not to do with a Baby's list of achievements to-date: 

  • Books for Keeps - Book of the week in January
  • Books for Keeps - New Talent
  • Book Trust - Books we like: February 2015
  • The Reading Challenge - Listed book for the Summer Reading Challenge
  • The Independent - Listed as one of the 12 Best Children's Books of 2015

Thursday, 19 March 2015

School Visit - Acklam Grange School

I recently visited Acklam Grange School in Middlesbrough to be interviewed by three ambitious pupils (Eeman, Kajol and Amran) for BBC News Day. We spoke about life as a children's book illustrator and how I balance it with a passion for teaching and competing in karate! It was definitely the most interesting interview that I've had to date.

Check out their coverage here... Acklam Grange: Students catch up with Holly Sterling

Friday, 27 February 2015

Included in the Summer Reading Challenge 2015

I am happy to announce that my first picture book, 15 Things Not to do with a Baby (written by Margaret McAllister and published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books) has been selected for this year's book collection for the Summer Reading Challenge 2015, Record Breakers.

There are two lists - one for younger children and one for older readers. You will find 15 Things in the collection for younger readers (ages 4-7).

The Summer Reading Challenge is the UK's largest reading event for children and is organised by the charity The Reading Agency. If you would like your children to be involved in this year's challenge, pop into your local library, sign up, select your six book titles and collect stickers and other rewards along the way. You can do all of this for FREE... so go and get signed up!!!

Happy reading!

Friday, 30 January 2015

15 Things Not to do with a Baby - Launch at Seven Stories

Celebrating with my 7 year old niece, May.
May checking out the entrance display at Seven Stories.
Had the most amazing evening of my life last night at Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books for the launch celebration of my first picture book, '15 Things NOT to do with a Baby', written by award winning author, Margi McAllister. It was a overwhelming turn out by many of our family, friends and supporters.

I would like to thank Margi McAllister for writing a dream of a text, full of fun and silliness! Thank you to Janetta Otter-Barry and Frances Lincoln Children's Books for believing in the book, trusting in me as a new illustrator and making it a reality. Thank you to Andrew Watson from Frances Lincoln, for being a fabulously talented designer to work with.

Thank you to Elizabeth Hammill and Seven Stories for their ongoing support of me as an illustrator and friend. 

A combined thank you to Nicky Potter and the Seven Stories team for organising such an amazing launch celebration. It was completely magical night.

A very special thank you to my agent Kathryn Ross and partner in crime Lindsey Fraser for simply being the best!!

Lastly, I would like to thank those family, friends and supporters who couldn't join us on this special evening!

As an added note, I am happy to share that I have been announced as Books For Keeps 'New Talent' this month. You can read their fabulous review of the book here...

We have also been announced as one of the Book Trust's 'Books we like: February 2015'.

Other reviews of the book:

Book Trust

Mirrors Windows Doors

Parents in Touch

Red Reading Hub

The Bookbag

Books In My House