The Squawks are pleased to meet you!
The Illustrated Forest is a truly gorgeous website with beautifully written reviews of wonderful books so we were delighted that they agreed to review 'The Squawks' and even more delighted when they wrote this:
'The Squawks are a diverse little community of birds in many shapes and sizes, moods and attitudes, and the book charts a small insight into their lives. From choral singing to ‘squiffy’ walks home and squabbling over 'squawkboard:' these birds do it all.
The heavily alliterated, rhyming text is at times almost a tongue twister. It is fun to read, particularly aloud and has some lovely comic moments. The design is graphic and bold, particularly attractive when the Squawks are at their cutest, and Thorp has a great eye for strong colour, using her limited palette to great effect. Her page design is well thought out, varied and is beautifully striking. Our favourite stand out pages feature blue squawks leaping across a grey midnight sky, the beautiful yolk yellow sun that glows ‘when they wake for morning song’ and when we get the chance to observe them in their simple, multicoloured glory against a stark white background.
The multicoloured text, unrestrained by the problems mainstream publishers face, weaves and wanders across the page playfully. Each book is handmade and published by Raw Mixture Publishing, something of a Thorp family affair. It is high quality, well printed and the colours are fantastic. This is what they have to say:
"At the heart of Raw Mixture Publishing is a belief that we can get things done. Between us we have a great deal of raw energy and an eclectic and wide ranging mix of talents – hence Raw Mixture. Our philosophy encompasses a determination to do things well, with passion and a committment to engaging design.”
We are great fans of a can-do attitude and great design, and we wish them luck.'
Read more reviews and get inspired HERE
'The Illustrated Forest; a site dedicated to the celebration of innovative, clever and beautiful picture books.'
'[...} Fred loved it, almost as much as me! Good story, nice pictures, and clever use of words. All in all the signs of a very talented lady.' Katherine
Lovely feedback from happy 'Squawks' customers:
'We love,'The squawks.' Utter magic' Dawn
We were absolutely thrilled to get this fantastic review from the lovely Emma at My Book Corner. The Squawks are really starting to make an impression!
'The Squawks is a joyful picture book; gorgeous to look at and pure fun to read.
With a delicious collection of tongue twisting words, Ruth Thorp takes us through the antics of the cheeky bunch known as the Squawks.
The Squawks come in many shapes and sizes, they like to party until they have 'sore feet and dizzy heads.' Their antics and personalities have certain parallels to little people too, which made us giggle when reading this out loud.
'squally weather makes them quarrel ... and playing squawkboard makes them squabble.'
The typography dances across the pages in a delightful, fun manner. Thorp's illustrations are modern and bold.
I love the carefully defined colour palette that she sticks to, oh, and ... those endpapers are pretty good too!! You can't beat great endpapers in a picture book.'
'Browse. Review. Buy. Be Inspired! [...] I've created this gorgeous haven where I hand pick fabulously inspiring literature from 0 through to YA.'
My Book Corner
We were delighted to have a review included on Jill Bennett's Red Reading Hub blog which featured two other wonderful books and was titled 'Spread a Little Happiness'. The Squawks are definitely achieving great things if they can do that!
'Meet the Squawks – a troop of birds of many different shapes and sizes, mostly blue with an occasional red or yellow feathered one. These happy-go-lucky creatures get up to all manner of crazy antics such as telegraph wire teetering, dancing and keeping fit. Avoid them though in squally weather and when they engage in board games; that’s when their tempers become frayed.
With a limited colour palette and a plethora of tongue tingling words, Ruth Thorp has created a playful picture book that demonstrates to young listeners that words are fun – fun to hear, fun to mess about with, fun to write and fun to invent. I love the way the print twirls and swirls across some of the pages in harmony with the Squawks. Just the thing to help foster a love of language for its own sake.'
'In these pages, I hope to be able to highlight books , both those recently published as well as ones that have been well and truly tried and tested, that ‘work’ with children either at home, playgroups, nurseries or schools.'
by Jill Bennett
Another great review of The Squawks from the lovely Sarah Yewman on Picture Books Blogger.
'Meet The Squawks.
A group of graphically gleeful birds.
“They can be yellow, though most are blue and some Squawks have red feathers too.”
Created by graphic designer and illustrator Ruth Thorp, these quirky birds enjoy a party or two, and even hold down day jobs.
You might sometimes spot them doing a bit of keep fit.
But mainly, they SQUAWK!
A colourful ditty told in a tongue-twisting rhyme, coupled with Thorp’s bright, bold illustration style makes for a fun and frivolous read.
And sometimes when it all turns bad, they’ll squawk out loud “I’m really mad!”
“This is the life of the bird that talks in spirited Squawking Squawky Squawks!"'
'A picture book lover since I can remember, I even have my own secret stash which my children have yet to get their sticky mitts on!.'
'My book arrived yesterday and it's absolutely beautiful thanks ever so much!! And the inscription to my little boys is lovely. It's a wonderful book Jake is loving it.' Emma
'Great fun, great words!: A great read, full of lovely words and a story line for the grown ups as well as the children. My 4 year old regularly chooses this for bedtime story. The colourful and stylish illustration also make this a great book for a children's gift.' Bonnie Powell (Amazon review)
We were thrilled to receive this fantastic review from parent blogger Claire and her kids. So pleased to hear how 'The Squawks' is engaging children (and parents) of all ages and inspiring creative activities - exactly how books should be enjoyed.
'We love a really well illustrated book and The Squawks fits the bill perfectly (do you like the pun?). The Squawks is about a little community of birds and all the different things they get up to. From going to parties to keeping fit and lots in between.
This is a really quirky little book written in an engaging rhyming text with wonderful graphic illustrations and a very modern colour palette. My three year old absolutely loved it, he thought some of the illustrations of the birds absolutely hilarious.
The best books for young children are those which come to life when they are read and The Squawks really does this. I have enjoyed reading it quite dramatically immensely and little Ned has even acted out some of the birds. I think I will remember reading him this book in years to come.
The older children have been so taken by the illustrations of the birds that they have drawn their own version. Another good sign! Ruth is clearly very talented and has produced a book which engaged my children and inspired an afternoon of activity. Thanks Ruth!'
The Squawks is now available from the fantastic My Small World Toy Store in Bath and this is what they and to say:
'We're really inspired by Bath author and illustrator Ruth Thorp's first self published children's book, The Squawks. Full to the brim with amazing onomatopoeia, this book is a complete delight to read, as we follow the day to day activities of this loud, party loving flock. The illustrations are wonderfully retro, the verse is witty and very catchy - we think it will be a big hit! Publishers & editors prick up your ears - she's one to watch! On sale in store from today...'
Thank you so much to Tiffa of The Picture Book Review for this fantastic review. We are delighted that so many are having such fun reading The Squawks.
'Come meet these very cute, very dapper, and very endearing little birds. The Squawks by Ruth Thorp is beautifully designed, fun to read aloud, and very funny.
Summary: The squawking squawks are happy party birds that dance and swing and squeal and skip. They party into the night and when they’re done most head home, but some stay and play along the telephone wires.
Once they crawl into bed they wake in the morning to a “squirly whirly squawk going wrong.” Oh, no! But don’t fret! After their morning breakfast snack they’re as good a s new and ready for work, play, and birdy exercises.
Their moods appear to be intricately linked to the weather. Sunny days find them squawking all day long, but bad weather makes them angry. Their version of Scrabble (Squawkboard) isn’t much better because it makes them squabble. (I thought it was just my family that got contentious over that game. Apparently not!)
But for the most part, they’re pretty laid-back birds that get along and fill the world with happy, cheerful songs of cheeps, tweets, squeaks, and squawks.
Such is the life of the squawky squawks.
Who knew squawking along with these snazzy birds could be so much fun?
Why You Should Read The Squawks:
The illustrations are beautiful, stylish, and expertly done. They’re clean and simple enough that they’ll inspire even the most drawing-averse kiddo to attempt sketching their own squawk and yet complex enough that youimmediately see Thorp has a trained and professional eye for design.
The rhythm of the story, which reminds me of Sandra Boynton and Shel Silverstein mixed about, is what impresses me the most. (Specifically coming to mind is the poem ‘Sick‘ by Silverstein and the book Hippos Go Beserk by Boynton.)
The squawks can be as silly or as dignified as you make them. So multiple readings can easily be very different readings — keeping it interesting and playful even when you’ve read it to the little ones 6,244 times.'
'Picture book reviews, reviews of books with pictures, and pictures of books!'
Thank you to Danielle and Tianna from The Tester Family for this lovely review. We are thrilled that they both enjoyed it so much:
'From the moment we saw the front cover of The Squawks, we knew that we would love this story. The little birds in this rhyming tale are so funny and get up to all types of mischief! The illustrations are simple, yet so entertaining and The Squawks really come to life in the pages of this book.
The story is also great fun for adults too, with the tales of partying Squawks who crawl home to bed with sore feet and dizzy heads and sing out of tune the following morning!
Tianna found this book hilarious, the illustrations made her burst out laughing numerous times. She especially loved the squabbling, quarelling Squawks and the Squawk in disguise! '
About Lilly Mae and The Squawks - 'Overall we would recommend both of these books 100%! The stories are captivating and the illustrations are stunning and really come to life. These are books which can be treasured and read over and over again without losing their fantastic energy!
A wonderful review from Book Lover Jo.
'One of the great things about having a book blog is that you often get to see books that other people sometimes don’t get a chance to see. These books really captured my attention and are a delight to read.
The Squawks’ by Ruth Thorp is a delightful picture book featuring bold illustrations and quirky rhymes. It tells the tale of the ‘birds that SQUAWK the SQUAWKY talk of the SQUAWKING SQUAWKS’ who can be very noisy and troublesome. A limited bright palette is used throughout the book which is very striking and captivates your attention. The birds themselves are very expressive so it’s ideal for sharing with a young child as you can discuss how you think they might be feeling.
The rhyme is a funny and tongue twisting which makes it very entertaining for reading out loud. it managed to make me smile and laugh at the antics of these squabbling squawks who sometimes feel very grumpy but generally get along with others. I think it is helpful book for exploring young children’s emotions through a story and allows you to talk about how it’s fine to feel cross occasionally. It is real treat to read and the illustrations are so stunning it has a massive visual appeal.'
We were over the moon to read this lovely review from Book Monster Ally. Great to hear how much fun she had reading it!
'Now, at Book Monster HQ, I’m am quite partial to feeding the birds, and at certain times of the year it’s like party time for the squawky birds in the garden! The starlings in particular, are constantly screeching and squabbling among themselves. So when I read The Squawks by Ruth, I was chuckling away being reminded of these fantastic birds.
This book doesn’t tell a story as such, but takes us on a exploration of Squawks and all of their wonderful personalities. The words in the book rhyme beautifully, and reflect the quirky character of the birds as they somersault across the page! You can interpret this how you like, is it the tale of real birds? Or some mythical birds who really wear hats and party all night, or even a representation of humans in bird form? Whatever you do or don’t read into it, it’s just great fun! The words frolic across the pages, dancing like the birds in the book, and have just as much personality.
The simple clean illustrations are clutter free and compliment the words incredibly well. Each bird contains so much movement you can almost feel them flapping across the page!
There is a lot you could do with young children with this book, from counting the birds, pointing out their hats, exploring the colours and even perfect for children learning “QU” for the first time. But in truth, The Squawks just a whole bundle of fun and energy to read!
Ruth Thorp (along with her sister for Lily Mae) has created a fabulous trio of gorgeous little books that are educational, but fun, feisty and unusual too. They would make great additions to schools and libraries and a fab gift set. I certainly wish her a lot of success with these lovely books and look forward to seeing more in the future.'