A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
BETHANY STRAKER is an illustrator and designer working in Kent and London. She is currently working on 6 picture books for Skyhorse publishing and currently has a book out written by Isabel Atherton, called ‘Zombie Cat: The Tale of a Decomposing Kitty’. Her new books include a book she wrote called ‘The Funny Bunny Fly’, ‘A Curious Robot on Mars!’ written by James Duffett-Smith and ‘Smelly Ghost’ by Isabel Atherton. Previously, Bethany has illustrated for magazines for Disney, CMP Information, Bliss magazine, the National Magazine Company and GoGo’s Crazy Bones. You can see some examples of her work on her website, www.bethanystraker.com
In Spooky Town, there live many ghosts, ghouls, skeletons, and scary creatures. However, none of these creepy characters wants to play with a particular ghost—Smelly Ghost. The reason is simple: Smelly Ghost only consumes frightening junk food. He devours bone chips, chocolate toes, and eyeball pizza. Sadly, these foods make his tummy growl and yell—keeping everyone far, far away. Devastated, Smelly Ghost wonders why no one wants to be his friend. (more)
“If you have a stubborn eater this book is super cute and will hopefully get them to make better choices when it comes to eating ‘creepy food.'” — Everything Mom and Baby
Far off into space—186 million miles to be precise—a fearless robot rover travels all by his lonesome. He is on a crucial mission from Earth, eagerly seeking to answer the much-anticipated question: Does life exist on Mars? But there is nothing to be seen on this planet except miles of rocks. He loses support from mission control and finds himself alone and cut off from civilization. But the curious little robot is resilient! After noticing a flash of light shining brilliantly through the crack of a rock, he instantly realizes his mission is far from over. He slowly inches towards the edge, but then suddenly falls perilously into the darkness! What will he discover? (more)
“such a lovely, feel-good picture book.” — Kate Louise, author of The Upside-Down Fish
Martha’s the tallest chicken on the farm—and it’s not because she hit a growth spurt. Unfortunately, instead of normal chicken legs to hold her up, Martha’s legs are two giant yellow springs. After a run-in with a nasty fox, the farmer does the best he can to fix poor Martha, but it just isn’t the same. Now, she’s too tall to fit inside the chicken coop like all the other hens, her eggs are always smashed and scrambled since she’s so high off the ground, and it’s difficult to maneuver such big legs without stepping on a few toes and ruffling some feathers. But when the fox comes back, can Martha and her spring-legs muster the courage to save the day? Will that be enough for the brood to welcome her back?
Featuring an empowering story of acceptance from author Isabel Atherton, and bold, colorful illustrations by Bethany Straker, Springy Chicken celebrates that we all have something special to offer. (more)
The little daffodil’s only dream, ever since he was just a bulb, was to grow to be tall, bright, and yellow. But during the winter, the little bulb caught a cold. When springtime finally arrives, the bulb’s brothers and sisters have all grown into beautiful yellow daffodils, while the little daffodil is left spotted and small. The daffodil is ashamed of his red spots, and thinks himself ugly in comparison to his brothers and sisters. So when a little girl comes outside to play for the first time since winter, the little daffodil tries to hide in shame. But the little girl is looking for a special flower to give her grandmother. Does she choose the spotty dotty daffodil? Does the daffodil finally accept his spots? (more)
“Such a lovely children’s book! I think that the story about accepting differences concerns every young reader.” — Literasa
Did you know that Jupiter is eleven times the size of Earth? The solar system is an incredible place that is still mostly unexplored. So, when Stella and her family move to a new town—where Stella has no friends except for her dog Steve—she goes exploring. In this educational book, travel across the solar system with Stella and Steve as Stella looks for a new home on another planet and imagines what life would be like on another world, from Mercury to Pluto. But along the way Stella learns that Venus has acid rain and Neptune is made mainly of gas, and she begins to wonder whether Earth might actually be the perfect home for her after all. (more)
“Stunning retro artwork paired with interesting facts make this a fun, educational read.” — Kate Louise, author of The Upside-Down Fish
Ruby Moo has always been different from the other cows. She isn’t content making yogurt, milk, and cheese on the dairy farm. Ruby wants to be an astronaut, an explorer, and, more than anything, she wants to be the first cow deep-sea diver. So one day, brave Ruby Moo stows away on a van and rides it all the way to the ocean. Borrowing a helmet, she dives right into the water and discovers an exciting shipwreck along with a scary, giant squid! Thankfully, the squid is only looking for a chess partner—and maybe someone to play with on his trampoline. Phew! (more)
“A great little picture book bursting with energy.” — Kate Louise, author of The Upside-Down Fish
Something doesn’t smell right at Mr. Abel Throppe’s bakery. Eighteen customers are sick, and they’re blaming it on his pie! What could have caused this awful epidemic? It seems a funny bunny fly has taken up residence in the bakery. You see, Funny Bunny Fly doesn’t like to be clean. Prior to entering the bakery, he rolled in some dog doo-doo and is spreading germs all over town! Mr. Throppe better keep his bakery clean, or he’s going to lose his customers and gain a permanent new tenant. (more)
“A fun, delightful picture book with a strong message!” — Rose Mannering, author of The Spotty Dotty Daffodil
Like most dogs, Pierre, a French bulldog, loves the excitement of digging things up. He hoards his treasures in a hole in the backyard and then makes space for more. One day Pierre tosses some old stuff into the trash can, but he forgets to recycle. Now, instead of being transformed into new things, that plastic bottle and newspaper will sit in a landfill forever! Well, not if Pierre has anything to do with it. He chases the garbage truck through town, but will he catch it in time, or will those treasures be trash forever? (more)
“Children will adore Pierre! A Must-Read!” — SoCal City Kids
Tom can’t read facial expressions, so he doesn’t understand the other children and they don’t understand him. Playing at the park can be lonely sometimes, but luckily Tom has his dog, Boo, and Boo is easy to understand. She wags her tail when she is happy and whines when she is sad.
This sweet book familiarizes children with social disabilities, such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Children learn the meaning of facial expressions and are introduced to the possibility that some children may have difficulty interacting with them. (more)
Bethany Straker has also illustrated ZOMBIE CAT: THE TALE OF A DECOMPOSING KITTY, an adult picture book written by Isabel Atherton. And she has written and illustrated another adult title, which takes a humorous approach at addressing common fears: WHY AM I SCARED OF EVERYTHING?: A DIARY OF OUR GREATEST WORRIES AND INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES TO REMEMBER.