Thursday, December 3

Monster Prints and Monster Cards...

Monstrous greetings! I haven't had time to update the Monster MAchine blog for a while as my work has taken me elsewhere but rest assured I am still creating monsters and I hope if you are reading this you are fascinated by them too :)

In fact I have my very first monster prints and cards now available in my Teeth and Claws shop....

© Nicola L Robinson 2015 Monster Art Print
Monster Art Print © Nicola L Robinson   

© Nicola L Robinson 2015 Monster Art Print
Monster Birthday Card © Nicola L Robinson

Monday, October 20

The Anatomy of a Monster... Halloween!

Frankenstein © Nicola L Robinson 2014

It's that time of year again... Halloween is on it's way! To mark this spooky occasion I've written an article about monsters for the SCBWI's Words and Pictures blog, covering some thoughts about what makes a monster and some tips for drawing monsters too, if you're feeling a bit monstrous today do take a peek - 

Wednesday, October 8

A monster picture book for Halloween... The Monster Machine!

The Monster Machine, a monster picture book

October is here and the monsters are really looking forward to Halloween again, they hope you have lots of monstrous things planned, like monster tricks and monster games, and they also hope that if you are looking for a monster picture book this halloween you might seek them out for a little monstrous read...

The Monster Machine is not a scary halloween book, there are lots of those out there for you to find, and all the witches, zombies and vampires you'll ever need (we love those too). The Monster Machine is a monster picture book about a small boy and his dad and their monster making machine, and it has lots and lots of monsters to look at.

An easy read and fun to read aloud at approximately 350 words, with lots of detail in the illustration to look at, a lovely monster picture book for little boys and little girls this halloween, great for ages 3 and up.

The Monster Machine is written by Nicola L Robinson and published by Pavilion Children's books.

Available to buy in your favourite book shop...

ISBN - 9781843652007

Visit the Monster Machine website -

Wednesday, April 23

Happy St George's Day!

A monster hello to everyone who visits the Monster Machine Blog! It's been a while since I posted here, but thought it would be nice to share my most recent Dragon with all you Monster fans, to mark St George's Day...
A Dragon for St George's Day - by Nicola L Robinson
This dragon is also available as a print in my Teeth and Claws Shop (along with some of his more colourful dragon friends...)

Thursday, November 21

Hampton Junior School and The Monster Machine

Hello Hampton Junior School!

Myself and the monsters were very excited to be contacted by the lovely teachers and children at Hampton Junior School. Year 3 have been reading my picture book The Monster Machine published by Pavilion Children's Books and have really enjoyed it. Which is absolutely fantastic to hear!

Their teacher Miss Devonport tells me they have been inspired by The Monster Machine for a whole 3 week scheme of marvellously monstrous work, including creative writing and collecting materials to build their own monster machine! Wow! 

Monster Emails

The children contacted myself and the monsters via our special monster machine website, they had enjoyed reading the book and had spent some time in class planning and writing some questions for us to answer to learn more about monsters (and writing and illustrating books too.)

Now, myself and the monsters run the website by ourselves (we can't afford any staff) so we were overwhelmed when we got a huge influx of lovely emails, and had lots of fun replying. Hampton Junior School are an inquisitive bunch and asked some wonderful questions like -

'Do the monster wear Jim Jams? What do the monsters eat? Do I have any pets/children/a horse...' and of course wanted to know all about how I got the idea for the book and why do I like monsters so much...

I was really impressed with the emails, and even more so when I learned that these were the very first emails some of the children had written and sent. So I was honoured!

Building a Monster Machine

Class 3D with their Marvellous Monster Machine!
Some of the children were very excited to tell me about their plans in class to build a monster machine of their own! They had been collecting materials over half term and were getting ready to construct... Working together in small teams they did a wonderful job, and I was very excited to see some photos of the finished machine!

Look how big it is! Wonderful work Class 3D!

The original monster machine itself...
Monster creative writing

Reading The Monster Machine also inspired a lot of thinking, and wondering what happens after the book is finished. Where do the monsters go? how do they feel and more importantly what does the monster's home planet look like? Using their imaginations class 3D produced some wonderful pieces of creative writing describing the monster's arrival on their home planet and what they imagine it to look like... it is clear we are on the same wavelength :)
I was hugely impressed with their work and have been given permission to share a few examples with you here...

Monster Machine creative writing © Belle Roberts 2013
Monster Machine creative writing © Tilly Patterson-Dale 2013
Monster Machine creative writing © Katy Upton 2013

Monster Machine creative writing © Frederick Kelly 2013

I'm so pleased the children at Hampton Junior School enjoyed reading my book and am truly thrilled it has inspired such fantastic writing and monstrously, marvellous creative work.  

A huge thank you to Classes 3D, 3M, 3B and Miss Devonport for getting in touch and sharing it with me,

Keep reading, keep writing and stay creative! Keep up the excellent work! 

Nicola (and the monsters)

Monday, October 14

Monster Mummies review - The Monster Machine!

The monsters from The Monster Machine are getting ready for halloween and are very excited to have been reviewed by Monster Mummies!

Read their review over on the fabulous Monster Mummies website -

Monday, August 12

Making a Beaky Monster - The art of needle felting...

Most of the time I'm an illustrator, but I've always loved making things too. I had a bit of a small toy making business going when I was in school making soft toy replicas of people's pets and other critters, and now though I don't often make anything of the toy variety anymore- I already have too much space being taken up by all my books, I do enjoy sewing and making home furnishings and other crafty past times, and last year I also had a lot of fun making one of my monsters too... you may have seen him in my earlier posts.

Here he is, from The Monster Machine picture book and also my adopted business mascot (very useful for checking over my contracts and deciding when it is lunch time) Beaky Monster.
Beaky Monster stood on my desk looking out of the window...

Beaky Monster in production... no head! but no eyes yet either so it's not too horrific.

I made Beaky Monster using a craft known as 'needle felting'. Beaky Monster is my very first needle felted creation and though it is often painful (I lost count of how many times I stabbed myself in the finger with the little barbed needles) it is strangely addictive and stress relieving too- when it's going the way you want at least, haha.

You basically sculpt tufts of dyed woollen fibres into shape by repeatedly stabbing it with an assortment of vicious little barbed needles which serve to mesh the fibres together and make the woollen lumps increasingly dense and firm. 

I first heard about needle felting a while ago when I spotted a Mollie Makes magazine in the train station advertising some of super awesome felt artist and illustrator Gretel Parker's little felt dogs on the cover and thought I'd have to give it a go too! 

Check out Gretel Parker's website -
to see some superb needle felting, and the little felt dogs! she also run's needle felting classes too...