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Bartholomew and the Bug
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About the Author

Neal Layton was born in Chichester, West Sussex. Many of his ideas come he says from his childhood. In the past he has worked on a lettuce farm, in a chocolate factory, a teapot factory, a book shop and has delivered papers. Neal has illustrated more than 40 books to date working with award winning authors such as Michael Rosen and Roger McGough. 'Oscar and Arabella' which he both wrote and illustrated won him the Smarties prize in 2003. He now lives in Southsea, Portsmouth with his girlfriend who is also an artist

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Bartholomew and the grizzly bear's encounter with a bug can be read from the pictures alone or from the text. Both are straightforward and unadorned, but putting them together makes a deliciously humourous whole in which the bear's stolidity contrasts with the ditzy little bug who just wants to party. The bug has just one day to live and wants to make the most of it, so finding himself in the wilderness with a snoozy bear as his only company is a disappointment. But Bartholomew is not without compassion or ingenuity, so between them they make their way to the bright lights of the faraway city where bug has the time of his life and bear learns that it is fun to sing, dance and party - now and again. The illustrations for the most part are flat and nineteenth-fiftiesish looking, and are laid on matt paper. Layton's line is scribbley and child-like and the type is a sort of thickened Courier apart from the speech bubbles through which bear and bug interact. All these actually very sophist - Book for KeepsOSCAR AND ARABELLA:Oscar and Arabella are endearing woolly mammoths who yearn for adventures as long as they aren't scary. Stone Age life can be perilous but there's fun too, and ultimately they have one another. Glasgow-based Neal Layton uses mixed media, including collage and felt-tip to create his anarchic books. - Glasgow HeraldThis is a most original and inventive

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