Exciting news:

The rights to his first graphic novel, Zita the Spacegirl, was picked up recently by Fox Animation for a movie and there is hope that one day Hatke’s brave characters will make it to the big screen.

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Ben Hatke

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As many parents know, all kids come into the world ready to draw, but as the years pass each child reaches a point where they make a choice — to draw or not to draw. It was never a question for comic artist and arrow enthusiast Ben Hatke, who doodled his way through many a grade school and high school class, filling the margins with grand adventures.

His dad was an architect at Purdue University in Indiana and his mom took him and his two sisters to the library regularly. When the young boy discovered newspaper comics such as Calvin and Hobbes, it was love at first sight. more

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Watch   the book trailer!

Mary II

This familiar face, seen again and again, is Queen Mary II (Stuart) of England. (1662-1694)

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The portrait above was painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller for William III and Mary II in 1690.

Mary II (1662 – 1694) was joint monarch of England, Scotland, and Ireland with her husband and first cousin, William of Orange, from 1689 until her death. William and Mary, both Protestants, became king and queen regnant following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the adoption of the English Bill of Rights and the deposition of her Roman Catholic father, James II and VII. William became sole ruler upon her death in 1694. Popular histories usually refer to their joint reign as that of “William and Mary”.

Mary wielded less power than William when he was in England, ceding most of her authority to him, though he heavily relied on her. She did, however, act alone when William was engaged in military campaigns abroad, proving herself to be a powerful, firm, and effective ruler.

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Mary II’s Legacy

William and Mary are depicted (above) on the ceiling of the Painted Hall, Greenwich, by Sir James Thornhill.


Mary endowed the College of William and Mary (in the present day Williamsburg, Virginia). She is credited with influencing garden design, with popularizing blue and white porcelain, and the keeping of goldfish as pets.[81]

The Royal Collection

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The Somewhat True Adventures of Sammy Shine

by Henry Cole


Sammy, a clever pet mouse, lives a contented life until his owner’s brother kidnaps him to serve as pilot for a remote-controlled plane. Then his adventures begin.

The plane gets away from the boy and crashes into distant woods, where Sammy encounters a community of mice, including a helpful young female, Phoebe. After his damaged plane—his only means to get back home—goes missing, he sets out to find Goggles, a raccoon rumored to have great ideas but who can only be reached after a long journey. Along the way, Sammy’s joined by a crow that can’t fly, a newt, a shrew, and finally, Phoebe. Their quest is threatened by an evil weasel and his wily band of rats. Characters are only thinly developed, and the story is just mildly suspenseful. It is so brief (despite page count) the potential dangers simply don’t get expanded upon enough to feel truly threatening. But the illustrations lift this effort above the pack. Cole’s soft, delicately shaded black-and-white artwork appears on nearly every spread, with numerous double-page spreads. The realistic woodland scenes populated with slightly anthropomorphized creatures beg for closer study.

Although no one will doubt the eventual outcome, since Sammy is way too cute to fail, this amusing tale will serve well as an early chapter book or read-aloud. (Fantasy. 7-10)


Also by Henry Cole:

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Garden Art

The Sleeping Bird Topiary you can observe from the pictures is made by Claude Ponti. Although this one is located in the city of Nantes in France botanical garden, if your residence gives you the luxury of a big yard, nothing can stop you from attempting to fashion one such topiary.

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Peabody Faux Boxwood Garden Dog


The Living Thames

Terry Scales, artist, captures activity on the Thames . . . brilliantly!

Terry Scales was born in Rotherhithe, South London, at that time a busy community of Thames watermen and visiting sailors. This early background created a deep affection for London’s River and the vigorous commercial activities that permeate a bustling port.

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The Royal Yacht Britannia’s Last Voyage to London,
Farewell from Greenwich Pier [2002]

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9th May – 10th June, 2017:

Scenes from Post War London 1946 -1960, The Early Paintings of Terry Scales,  At  West Greenwich Library, 146 Greenwich High Road, SE10 8NN. Tel: 020 8858 4289.

Terry will be holding a talk in the library on Friday 9th June 3 – 4pm. See you there!