Lionheart! by Richard Collingridge

Hi All, long time no post! Above is the trailer for my new book 'Lionheart'.

'Richard hears something in his room before bedtime. Is it a monster? He doesn't wait to find out and sets off running through the streets, over the hills, through the forest, and into the fields until he finds himself in a magical jungle. With the help of his stuffed lion Lionheart, Richard finds the courage he needs to face his fears.'

I started working on this story at the beginning of 2012, it went through many different iterations until we finally got it down to the core message I wanted to get across.

Overcoming adversity.

It was originally inspired by a character from the TV series 'Lost' (yes, I also didn't like the ending), called John Locke who had everything go against him in life including being paralysed from the waist down. Despite all this, he fought on until finally he was able to (miraculously) walk again.
I particularly love stories where the character hasn't got a chance, but due to his/her bravery is able to overcome their fear/adversities and succeed. It also goes to my philosophy that anyone can do anything if we put ours mind to it.
Of course that idea is quite a complex one, and something we had to simplify down to its basic form in order for it to come across simply to children.
So first off in order to overcome something seemingly impossible, you need to be brave. Probably the most vivid image of bravery in iconography is a Lion...and being English, Richard the Lionheart springs to mind straight away. So that was our main character(s) sorted!
Then we needed to come up with the adversity, or in primal terms, a fear. We went in differing ways with this at first but eventually settled on the unseen fear. The monster under the bed, the shadow in the cupboard or the ghost outside your this was a childrens book, the monster is not dwelt upon, only mentioned in passing, though we are constantly aware Richard is running from something - though by the time it is finally revealed, Richard and the reader are brave enough to overcome it, I wont mention how, because it will give away the plot...but its really fun!

Id like to to go into the visual style of the book, because it is visually district from my previous book, 'When it Snows' but will leave that for another time.

On a separate note, the real Richard the Lionheart was born at Beaumont palace, just yards from my publishers office...So, not that I believe in those sorts of things but it was definitely fitting that Lionheart was born in the same place.

On another separate note: Take a look at the tutorial on how to draw (linked with Lionheart) I did for the Guardian this weekend

Its finally been released in the UK, and will be released in the US on Feb 23rd.

You can pick up a copy of the UK edition from here.

or from the David Fickling books shop from here.

and you can pick up a copy of the US edition from here

all illustrations and animation © Richard Collingridge 2008-16


  1. I work at a library in Northern Ontario, Canada. After being enthralled by When It Snows (Santa always reads this book on our special 'Stories with Santa' night) I have been anxiously awaiting the launch of Lionheart. I was not disappointed! The story is absolutely charming, compelling and timeless. As always, the illustrations are stunning! You are incredibly talented, Richard. Thank you for bringing magic to our small, snowy town!

    1. Thanks Ashleigh! Sorry for taking so long to get back, I've been in England for the last 2 months without my main computer (so I couldn't log into blogger!) Really glad you all like it, and was great to see photos of the Event for When it Snows (looked really fun!) :)


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