Nicola is an award-winning author, whose many books for children include The Promise (Green Earth Book Award 2015, Greenaway Shortlist 2015), Tiny (AAAS Subaru Prize 2015), A First Book of Nature, Whale Boy (Blue Peter Award Shortlist 2014), and the Heroes of the Wild Series (Portsmouth Book Prize 2014). She graduated in zoology, studied whales and bats and then worked in the BBC Nature History Unit.

Underlying all Nicola’s writing is the belief that a relationship with nature is essential to every human being, and that now, more than ever, we need to renew that relationship.

Nicola’s children’s books from Graffeg include The Pond, Perfectthe Shadows and Light series, Word Bird, Animal Surprises and Into the Blue.

Books

The Pond

The Pond is the second installment from the author illustrator duo Nicola Daives and Cathy Fisher. A touching picture book about a young boy, and his family, overcoming the loss of his father, this colourful, emotional book is filled with natural imagery, and will teach children not only about death and loss, but the importance of the natural world.
£11.99

Praise for The Pond

‘How to deal with death and grief? This is the theme of Nicola Davies’ latest book. There is nothing mawkish or sentimental. The young narrator does not hide the anger that grief can bring, both in young and old. The death of the father leaves a terrible hole in the family, symbolised by the muddy messy hole in the garden where the pond should have been. Then a duck arrives – the turning of the world and the seasons, the life to be found as the pond is resurrected allows the family to move on with their good memories; the pond had been their father’s idea.

While the link between life, death and the natural world is a common theme, there is freshness brought to it by Davies’ prose. It is a simple story, told clearly and elegantly. Enriching and adding both visual and emotional depth to a familiar story are Cathy Fisher’s illustrations. Filling each double page spread with rich, saturated colours she captures both the uncompromising desolation of the uncared for hole in the garden, the teeming life of the pond, the excitement of the discoveries to be made – and the perfection of the water lily flower. It too will die – but by then a new pond will have been created. This is a beautiful book in more senses than one and deserves to have a prominent place on any bookshelf.’ Ferelith Hordon, Books for Keeps

Perfect

Perfect is a story of anticipation, disappointment, acceptance and, ultimately, love. It tells the story of a young boy learning to accept his baby sister as being perfect in every way in spite of her disability. Suffused with natural imagery by artist Cathy Fisher, Perfect is an ideal way to open up the subject of disability with children, as well as being a great story in its own right.
£9.99

Praise for Perfect

“Every bookshop, every school, every library, should have this book.” – Jackie Morris, artist and writer

“Stories as deeply felt, and as exquisitely crafted as Perfect are the food that nourish the soul” – Nikki Gamble, education consultant

“It made me breathe a sigh of relief to remember that words and pictures can help widen and explain the world for children. It intrigues, involves and soothes it’s reader – all at the same time.” – Laura Carlin, artist and illustrator

Shadows and Light series

A series of tales that explore the deeper, darker side of our connection with the natural world. Be ready to feel a little bit of magic, and perhaps a few shivers down the spine.

The White Hare

Back then, humans and animals were fellow beings under the sky. Perhaps that’s why it seemed possible for humans to change into animals. Illustrated by Anastasia Izlesou.

Mother Cary’s Butter Knife

The smallest of three brothers, Keenan Mowat had a priceless talent: he loved the sea and the sea loved him right back. Illustrated by Anja Uhren.

The Selkie’s Mate

In a land where people flow between ocean and land, a seal and a fisherman sing together under a flowing moon. Illustrated by Claire Jenkins.

Elias Martin

Elias Martin lives a scowling, solitary life for a decade until a small, lost child wanders into his path. Illustrated by Fran Shum.

Each book is priced at £8.99

Praise for the Shadows and Light series

‘Unusual and beautifully illustrated offerings from a small Welsh publisher. Ideal for fans of dark folktales and fairy tales.’ Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library, School Library Journal, March 2017

Read Nicola Davies’ article ‘Discovering Story-Power’ for #FolkloreThursday over on their website, in which she discusses how she wrote the Shadows & Light series.

Rhyming Books series

Fully illustrated in colour by exciting new illustrator Abbie Cameron.

Follow the young adventurer as she treks through the jungle, dives deep down into the sea and climbs high up into the trees. Animal Surprises features animals big, small, wide and tall. Into the Blue features delightful characters from the deep blue sea. The Word Bird features birds of all shapes, sizes and colours.

Each book is priced at £8.99

Praise for the Rhyming Books series

News

The Pond featured in Scottish Book Trust’s ’10 Books about Loss’
The Pond reviewed as Editor’s choice in Books for Keeps July issue

Nicola and Cathy Fisher at The Hay Festival 2017

Author and zoologist Nicola Davies and illustrator Cathy Fisher ran a lively and creative event which revolved around their picture books Perfect and The Pond, offering a real insight into their working partnership.

Nicola introduced the audience to swifts – amazing birds that sleep and eat on the wing and never stop flying. She taught them how to look out for them, listen for their cries and how to tell if they might be nesting where you live.

The stunning artwork from Perfect was displayed on the stage while the audience were treated to Cathy live painting a backdrop of swifts in flight and a pond, which were both given out to raffle winners in the audience. Nicola told the audience amazing facts about swifts and told the story behind Perfect and The Pond, as well as reading the whole of Perfect to spellbound young children and their parents. Nicola also asked the audience to join in, by re-creating the environment of The Pond using percussion instruments, voices and gestures.

Nicola also appeared on BBC Radio Wales Arts Show live from the festival, where she discussed Perfect, The Pond and her involvement in the 3,000 chairs project at the festival.

Shadows and Light article for #FolkloreThursday

Nicola’s article entitled ‘The Shadows and Light Folktale Series: Discovering Story-Power’ is featured on the #FolkloreThursday website. Nicola discusses the writing process she went through for the first four books in the Shadows and Light series.

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