NNFN: A guest post by Joe Lillington plus a giveaway

As part of National Non-Fiction November, today we have a guest post for you from illustrator Joe Lillington, whose debut book, a non-fiction picture book about giant ice-age animals, Toby and the Ice Giants, has just been published by Flying Eye Books. Details of an amazing giveaway packed with non-fiction titles from Flying Eye Books follow Joe’s post below.

Illustration, narrative and non-fiction

“In Toby and the Ice Giants I was keen to combine the idea of being able to learn and put together your own understanding of the creatures from the Ice Age alongside an exciting narrative. I wanted the reader to enjoy the story, characters and imagery whilst also being able to relate the accompanying facts back to what they could see happening in the pictures. By keeping the factual information consistent across all the different animals that Toby met on his journey, I wanted the reader to be able to make clear comparisons between the creatures based on their weight, size and diet. I think this allows the reader to play an active role in the story and also in their understanding of the Ice Age Giants.


Combining information and narrative is an approach that I keep coming back to in my illustration work. When I was younger I really enjoyed reading non fiction books as I liked the mixture of information and facts running alongside the illustrations. I especially liked it when the pictures had cut away sections, showing the inside of buildings, cars and boats etc. in more detail, as this would give a real sense of how things work and fit together, letting you gain a lot of information visually before you even look at the text.


One of the things I particularly enjoy about creating a non fiction piece of work is that you get to expand your knowledge on a particular subject or learn something new entirely. I already had an interest in the Ice Age, but when I was doing the research for the book I learnt a lot more. The trouble was I ended up with a lot more information than I could include in the book! I then had the challenge of selecting and condensing all my research into something that would work for the audience and as part of a story picture book.

I hope that the inclusion of facts and figures, maps and size charts in Toby and the Ice Giants gives the book a sense of being a resource that can be returned to again and again for reference. Using stories as a way of learning seems to make subjects such as the Ice Age more accessible. I think stories that are grounded in fact are engaging and exciting because while reading about these fantastical creatures of the Ice Age, you know that they really did exist and that humans who were just like ourselves lived alongside them!”

This guest post was provided by Joe Lillington. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups.

Now for the giveaway!

One lucky person will win a bundle of books worth over Β£65, consisting of a copy of each of the following:

Toby and the Ice Giants by Joe Lillington
Professor Astro Cat by Ben Newman and Dominic Walliman
One Day on Our Blue planet by Ella Bailey
Mad About Monkeys by Owen Davey
Beautiful Birds by Emmanuelle Walker


To enter the competition all you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post (don’t worry if your comment doesn’t appear immediately – each has to be checked manually by a real human being to make sure we’re not inundated with spam).

Things to know:

  • The competition is open to UK/Eire addresses only.
  • You can enter only once, by leaving a comment on this blog post.
  • The competition is open for a week. It closes on November 30th at 5pm UK time.
  • The winner will be drawn at random and notified via email. Books will be dispatched directly from the publisher.
  • If the winner does not respond within a week, a new winner will be drawn.

  • Best of luck! Our thanks go to Flying Eye Books for enabling this generous giveaway.



    163 responses to “NNFN: A guest post by Joe Lillington plus a giveaway”

    1. Maxine Apperley says:

      A great prize for all eyes!

    2. Susanna Sansom says:

      These delightful books say “open the cover and browse endlessly”. The book bundle is destined for a cash-strapped primary school classroom.

    3. […] had giveaways: A guest post by Joe Lillington plus a giveaway A map-themed giveaway! Brilliant non-fiction books – a DK giveaway worth over […]

    4. Felicity Kelly says:

      What a lovely collection, my niece and nephews would love them x

    5. Victoria Prince says:

      Ooh yes please, what a lovely selection of books πŸ™‚

    6. VICTORIA SALTER says:

      what a wonderful prize giveaway, fingers crossed

    7. lynn neal says:

      I would love to share these inspiring books with my Grandchildren!

    8. CristΓ­n Williams says:

      I love reading and I may sure myself and my husband read to our kids everyday, story time is their favourite time of day

    9. Caroline S says:

      These books all look beautiful. They would be a great addition to our bedtime reading.

    10. Charlotte Thornton says:

      Fab Prize, I would love these for my local school for the children with special needs, they would love them!!

    11. Christine Oprey says:

      My little boy would love these books so much! Fingers and toes crossed Xx


      Wonderful books to read with all the family.

    13. Linda Guest says:

      we want Freya to grow up aware of the wonderful planet where she lives. These books look lovely and education through fun is by far the best kind

    14. Sallyanne Metcalfe-Mullins says:

      Fantastic prize, I’m amazed how my little one get mesmerised with story books

    15. julie daly says:

      great selection for some bedtime stories

    16. Keith Hunt says:

      Great prize

    17. Hannah Igoe says:

      What a lovely selection!

    18. Layla Thomas says:

      I’ve never seen Mad about Monkeys and it would be so perfect for my son. He’s just used his allowance to sponser a Mountain Gorilla

    19. Oksana Fitzgerald says:

      Fantastic books! My daughter loves reading

    20. Susan B says:

      What a lovely selection to read with the children. Thank you.

    21. Christine Hobbs says:

      In a world of technology its all too easy to forget the joy of learning together books can bring to children. As a parent of three young girls I feel its so important to give them knowledge through reading wonderful books together and these look beautiful xx

    22. c says:

      This would be great for my son he loves reading x

    23. jodie w says:

      I think these books look great, learning about our natural world is wonderful for children

    24. David crabb says:

      We are a family of bibliophiles and this collection looks great. It would be perfect for our son and we appreciate the opportunity. Thank you.

    25. cat culmer says:

      lovely prize

    26. Annmarie Nutt says:

      My kids would love the books

    27. Charmaine K says:

      These books look beautifully illustrated, great prize thanks

    28. Jean Vaughan says:

      Books have always been an important daily element in mine, my childrens’ and now my grandchildrens’ lives. To see the promotion of such beautiful books is so gratifying, particularly the non-fiction ones where the youngsters learn so much about the world we live in.Thank you.

    29. Charlotte Hoskins says:

      A lovely bundle of books for all the book worms in the family! πŸ™‚

    30. Anthea Holloway says:

      What a super prize – my grandchildren would love these.

    31. Kirsteen Mackay says:

      My Children would love this selection of books, they look lovely. Thank you for this competition.

    32. Rhona says:

      Beautiful books to be treasured. Non fiction at its best.

    33. Thank you for producing such beautiful books and raising the profile of children’s non-fiction!

    34. Phil Oneill says:

      Great prize my daughter would love these πŸ™‚

    35. Diane Jackson says:

      I think my daughter would like Beautiful Birds by Emmanuelle Walker

    36. Leanne Bell says:

      What a gorgeous bundle. We would love some new reads for our bedtime stories πŸ™‚ x

    37. Tasha hamilton says:

      Great prize!

    38. Alison Jolliffe says:

      These stories look fab

    39. Heli L says:

      What a fab educational giveaway!

    40. pauline black says:

      Fab giveaway!!

    41. Kelly Hirst says:

      There’s a lovely selection of books here. I’d love to win

    42. Jade Hewlett says:

      These books look lovely, thanks for the great giveaway.

    43. Emma Howard says:

      Lovely prize – can never have too many books!

    44. Joanne Jarvis says:

      My 5 year old boy would love these books, he is really coming on with his reading at the moment.

    45. Greig spencer says:

      wow, great books love to win

    46. Great stories to read together. Thanks for the comp. x

    47. Angela Kelly says:

      Thanks for this great giveaway!

    48. Kirsty says:

      What an amazing prize. We would love to read these titles with my son as we all really enjoy reading together!

    49. Miss Tracy Hanson says:

      They look brilliant. Thanks for the chance. Great to look at when the weather is rubbish and we can’t get out as much.

    50. Tracy Gladman says:

      This is a fabulous prize. Always love non fiction books.

    51. Amanda Gregory says:

      What a fabulous prize. Thanks for a great competition.

    52. Erica Price says:

      I love the idea of combining a narrative with facts – such a fun way to learn.

    53. Donna Caldwell says:

      Love reading with my daughter it is so much fun

    54. Shirley Evans says:

      These look brilliant

    55. Lona Jones says:

      Lovely illustrations, great prize!

    56. Sheri Darby says:

      These books look brilliant

    57. Christine says:

      A brilliant selection of lovely books

    58. Ema J Lowe says:

      what a great selection of books on offer. thank you for a chance to win them.

    59. The illustrations look amazing

    60. Georgina Shea says:

      I love the illustrations – such a lovely prize!

    61. Avril Luke says:

      Beautiful books, we’d love to win them – thank you for the chance!

    62. claire griffiths says:

      these would be great for my sons

    63. sallyann johnston says:

      Love books! Love reading them to the kids its such a special time of day x

    64. cat culmer says:

      What a great prize

    65. Great prize, thanks for running this competition.

    66. Bee says:

      This is an amazing giveaway!! Those books look absolutely beautiful!!

    67. Jo Jackson says:

      Beautiful books. Would be cherished and thoroughly enjoyed by myself and my two book loving sons

    68. Bex Bag says:

      This prize is as amazing as the books in it. I’m not sure that makes any sense, but the crux of what I’m saying is HOLY MOLEY this looks like another CORKER from Flying Eye. Great job Joe!

    69. Jo Clarke says:

      I love Flying Eye Books and would love to win these for my school library

    70. Miss G says:

      One Day on our Blue Planet… in the Savannah is our class book at the moment. One five year old said to me “Is this English and Science at the same time?!” Brilliant cross-curricular learning and always such amazing books from Flying Eye πŸ™‚

    71. Rosemary Woodman says:

      A fabulous collection!

    72. Cherry Newby says:

      I absolutely love children’s books and these would be a great addition to my children’s library!

    73. Bryn Haemorrhage says:

      Even though my son has just celebrated his nineteenth birthday, can I still get these and pretend he’s still a tot….then keep them for myself…..?

    74. Deborah Lamerton says:

      Great prizes πŸ™‚

    75. Lottie Smith says:

      My 3 year old niece would really love these… enough that I’d be willing to share.

    76. Killian Fallon says:

      My friend won 10,000€ on a scratch card today and this would make me feel a lot better

    77. Claire McVeigh says:

      Really lovely prize, would be delighted to win.

    78. Naomi Manser says:

      Both my kids love reading so these books would be such a lovely surprise.

    79. Patricia Dewey says:

      My grandchildren would adore these lovely books.

    80. Michaela Hannah says:

      I love spending time reading with my children so would be over the moon to win these x

    81. My son and daughter love reading, they would love this great selection. Fingers crossed.

    82. Ooh! What a fantastic giveaway. Flying Eye Books have to be my absolute favourite. Loved Imelda and the Goblin King!

    83. Katie Walker says:

      Fantastic set of books, love the look of Toby and the ice giants

    84. Sarah Jones says:

      A fantastic prize, my great nephew could lose himself in new worlds with these books.

    85. debbie mckellar says:

      My daughter loves books. Fab prize

    86. All of these books are so beautifully illustrated!

    87. Angela treadway says:

      My 5 year old and 8 year old would both enjoy looking at these x

    88. Monica Gilbert says:

      I’d love to expose my daughter to more nonfiction books. And the illustrations on yours are amazing.

    89. vicki says:

      woulld love to win this for my little girl this xmas she loves books

    90. claire woods says:

      These look really good books.

    91. Adrian Crook says:

      Fantastic giveaway, my son loves books and these books look right up his street

    92. Liam Bishop says:

      What lovely books. Can never have too many books! πŸ™‚

    93. Deirdre Maher says:

      Beautifully illustrated book! Great prize.

    94. Karen Hughes says:

      Wow these books look fabulous! Id love to read these to the children. Thank you for the chance!

    95. Tracy Newton says:

      A great giveaway, thanks for the opportunity to win

    96. aaron broad says:

      This would be awesome, fingers crossed and thanks for running (:

    97. Laura Pritchard says:

      What a great collection of books – my kids would love these!

    98. Ruth Harwood says:

      These would be awesome for the kids – they’d be reading non stop forever!! great competition, thanks xx

    99. Jon Sellers says:

      Great giveaway of books that make learning easy and fun for children. Toby and the Ice Giants looks particularly engaging

    100. Anna McMahon says:

      I love that Joe combines story with facts, maps etc. The book bundle would be great for our local school.

    101. dawn pratt says:

      fab giveaway my son would love these

    102. Helen Porter says:

      these books look really lovely, they would make great stocking fillers for my boys

    103. Mummy Fever says:

      What stunning books!

    104. Rebecca Smith says:

      Fantastic prize! Something here for each of my children

    105. Fingers crossed for this! It would be perfect for my daughter x

    106. Nancy Bradford says:

      Would love reading these lovely books to my daughter x

    107. susan miller says:

      Awww brilliant prize,perfect for our grandaughter

    108. Angela Paull says:

      Professor Astrocat’s Frontiers of Space looks AWESOME!

    109. caroline martin says:

      Fantastic books. Absolutely love getting books for my son. Reading together is such a special time

    110. Susannah Siddall says:

      My little girl is such a bookwoorm, she would adore this x

    111. Margaret Adamson says:

      These would make great presents for my four grandchildren

    112. Nicola McC says:

      Great prize! These would make a great addition to my nephew’s little library!

    113. Emma Ellams says:

      This looks like a great present for my nephew πŸ™‚

    114. cheryl hadfield says:

      Fantastic prize

    115. Jess M Woods says:

      great prize fingers crossed xx

    116. Shirley Evans says:

      love these books.they are brilliant

    117. Mark R says:

      Great set of books that are sure to be well loved

    118. Katie Aspden says:

      Fab prize, fingers crossed!

    119. Susan Smith says:

      Our granddaughter has just started to take a huge interest in books, so fingers crossed, this is a fantastic prize

    120. terri jenner says:

      perfect for my little boy who loves to read – even at the tender age of 4

    121. Jayne Truran says:

      Amazing prize. Someone will be very happy!

    122. Jasper C. says:

      I would love to win for my granddaughter

    123. what a fabulous prize for the little ones xxx

    124. Sarah Aitken says:

      My little girls would love reading these books. They are little book worms

    125. A lovely selection of books which would be perfect for our special school library.

    126. Anita Hooper says:

      Lovely selection of books that grandchildren would love

    127. Nicki Evans says:

      Would love to win these for my little boy.

    128. Sam Goodwin says:

      What lovely books πŸ™‚ We haven’t got any of these, so would love to win for my book loving boys!! They adore reading! And these look so perfect.

    129. Sadiyya maryam says:

      Many thanks for running this lovely giveaway. My daughter loves books.

    130. Clare Hubbard says:

      Such a great selection of books, great prize

    131. Chris Andrews says:

      what a lovely selection of books . . . . . Jake would love them if l were to win

    132. Great prize – My children are mad about non-fiction at the moment. Its fabulous to witness them learning so much and enjoying it x

    133. Laura Tonks says:

      These look gorgeous! Please count me in xxx

    134. Coral says:

      Love them all!!!

    135. Margaret Clarkson says:

      What a lovely selection of books. Thank you for offering such a great prize.

    136. Donna Pocock-Bell says:

      These books look fantastic! Especially like the look of Toby and the Ice Giants. Great reading for a winter’s afternoon snuggled under a blanket!

    137. Gail says:

      My daughter would love these books. So would I!

    138. Susan Lloyd says:

      These books all look amazing. It would be so nice to have some new books for my 3 bookworm girls to try! Xx

    139. kim neville says:

      A lovely selection of books my son would love reading thanks πŸ™‚

    140. joanna brand says:

      Amazing prize. What a gift in every sense of the world. Good luck everybody.

    141. Martina Pichova says:

      Interesting books I haven’t seen anywhere before…

    142. ann carline says:

      Beautiful books which I would love for my grandchildren

    143. Patricia Kennon says:

      Flying Eye Books always has a beautiful list, this is a great prize!

    144. iain maciver says:

      fantastic giveaway

    145. Would love these books to support the Children of the Wilderness Project in Africa. They grow up with elephants in the wilderness but “Ice Giants” and “Frontiers of Space” and the other books would open a while new world for them.

    146. yasmjn vasanji says:

      The book is beautifully illustrated. A lot of hard work went into it!

    147. Damyanti says:

      always fantastic to see such amazing illustrations in NF

    148. Lisa Hudson says:

      What a fabulous bundle.
      I leave my current school soon after 15 years so these would be great to donate to the school library as a leaving gift.

    149. Incredible prize! Flying Eye Books have such a beautiful list

    150. Conor Whelan says:

      Would love to have these books!

    151. Darren Matthews says:

      Joe is one of many incredibly talented authors and illustrators that are able to reach a wider audience thanks to the inspiring people at Flying Eye Books… One of the best children’s book publishers on the market today. The kids in my classes have always adored their books.

    152. alice rogers says:

      Wow, my daughter would love these, we are crossing our fingers, thank you x

    153. Sharleene says:

      Interesting blog, great facts for chatting to customers at work. Thank you πŸ™‚

    154. Linda says:

      Awesome prize – I could do a lot with these beauties x

    155. Jo says:

      These would be great for my school library.

    156. Jen says:

      I love non fiction presented in such a beautiful format, so accessible!

    157. Glenn Marvell-James says:

      Flying Eye Book are always such wonderful quality, educational, interesting and by superbly talented illustrators

    158. It would be amazing to have all these gorgeous books! Flying Eye have such a great list of authors and illustrators!

    159. Clare zinkin says:

      What a beautiful bundle of high quality books. I know that Toby and the Ice Giants will be perfect for our school unit next term on settlers and scavengers

    160. Catherine says:

      Interesting to read about the author’s own love of non-fiction, I’ll certainly check his book out.

    161. Celeste Ward says:

      What a lovely prize! Fingers crossed.

    162. Jayne Gould says:

      These all look amazing!

    163. ashleigh allan says:

      great prize