Huw Lewis-Jones' Blue Badger goes global!
14 February 2023
While our Marine & Natural History Photography associate professor Huw Lewis-Jones is well known for his polar voyages, he is now making waves in the world of children’s publishing too. His latest book, Blue Badger and the Beautiful Berry, is out this week in the UK and is soon to be published across North America. There will even be editions in Japan.
Huw Lewis-Jones is a storyteller and seafarer, a field naturalist and wilderness guide, who directs research projects and leads voyages to challenging places. He is also an award-winning author, previously writing best-selling books for adults, including The Sea Journal, Explorers Sketchbooks, and The Writer’s Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands.
In 2021, Huw began a new adventure, diving into the world of children’s books with the release of Bad Apple, with the leading art and photography publisher Thames & Hudson. It was quickly followed by collaborations with the British Library, and with the Quarto Group, helping to launch a new imprint called Happy Yak. He now has ten children’s books under his belt, including the Blue Badger trilogy, which follows a lovable badger and his often-awkward attempts to navigate the mysteries of life.
Funny, witty, and mindful, the trilogy aims to gently explore the meaning of friendship and happiness. And there are berries, lots of berries! Talking about his foray into writing for children, Huw says: “It’s been a total pleasure. I’d been playing with stories for years, but finally after lockdown had a chance to get down many of these ideas on paper. We were all still teaching through this time but not being away in the Arctic that summer meant I was able to find the peace and quiet needed to nurture some of these books into being.”
Both the Bad Apple and Blue Badger series of books are beautifully illustrated by award-winning illustrator Ben Sanders. Ben’s work can be seen on the pages of Wall Street Journal, Monocle, Columbia Journalism Review and Australian Geographic. Ben also writes and illustrates for Hachette. Huw says that collaborating with Ben is “a whole lot of fun".
"We first started working together on a series of maps, for a book I was making at that time called Archipelago, with other artists all over the world. I had this first apple story in progress just as I was heading for the Arctic and Ben jumped at the chance to mess about on it together. It’s been great, though a bit crazy sometimes working across time-zones, with different books in progress, and lots of different publishers. It’s exciting - a kind of creative whirlwind. We’re learning a lot as we go, and it’s been so nice to see the books reaching readers.”
Blue Badger and the Beautiful Berry is available to buy now online and in all good bookstores. The trilogy will soon be available to international audiences too, with the books being published in North America, France and Japan. If you enjoy this trilogy, keep an eye out for more books from Huw coming later this year.