Saturday, 28 June 2014

The Swap by Jan Ormerod and Andrew Joyner

The Swap tells that age old story of sibling jealousy.

When left in charge to mind her baby brother, Caroline decides to swap her dribbly, annoying brother for another. She tries out a baby elephant, a baby panda & baby tigers.

Unfortunately she experiences problems with all of them - too squirty, fussy eaters, too tiring etc.

By the end, Caroline realises that her baby brother is not so bad after all.

Andrew Joyner's illustrations have an old-fashion cartoon feel. His choice of colour palette ensures all the animals have a friendly, laid-back look. Joyner has added to the humour of the story via the facial expressions and actions of the characters.

The Swap will probably be this year's sentimental favourite for the CBCA nominations as sadly, Jan Ormerod passed away in January 2013.

In 2009 I had the pleasure of hosting a book event with Jan Ormerod and Margaret Wild to promote their latest children's book, Itsy-Bitsy Babies.

While Margaret read the book to the group, Jan drew quick portraits of the children. At the end, she presented the portraits to their delighted parents. It was a very generous surprise which we still talk about today.
Jan signing copies of Itsy-Bitsy Babies.

Jan drawing portraits.

Margaret Wild, me, Jan Ormerod


  1. This book sounds delightful- I haven't found it yet. I love your photos of Jan Ormerod, she looks so youthful- I just googled her and she was only 66 when she died of cancer. It's special that you were able to meet her. Such a terrible shame she died so young. How fabulous of her to do portraits of the kiddies! It's such a gift to be able to draw like that. I sure wish I had some tiny skill in that regard, but sadly have none. Lovely to see you and Margaret Wild too.

    1. It was reprinting Louise and has only just come back into stock.

      We had a lovely morning with Jan & Margaret. I had admired them both from afar for such a long time (Sunshine and Moonlight were books that I started using on my first teaching pracs).

      Jan's legacy lives on in her wonderful body of work and the goodwill she created by events such as this :-)

  2. Sad. I didn't know Jan Omerand died. Her illustrations are great. I have always loved that style of children's illustrations. Kind of like Richard Scarey who I was a big fan of when I worked. Love this little book.


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