The Mysterious Bird in the Moonlight: Book Launch and Animation

The Tracks, Traces and Trails project is excited to announce the launch of our brand new children’s book – The Mysterious Bird in the Moonlight, by Steve Smallman!

The Land Lines team are really excited to launch an exclusive new children’s book, all about the nightjar! True to the project’s aim of shedding light on lesser-known wildlife species and the nocturnal, our focus on the nightjar has allowed us to explore how best to bring this beautiful bird into the public imagination. Writer and illustrator Steve Smallman has created The Mysterious Bird in the Moonlight to help children (and their adults!) to learn all about the nightjar and its not-so-mysterious ways! This was all helped along by artist and animator Francesca Sierevogel and the children of Hatfield Woodhouse Primary School, who produced some brilliant drawings of the characters in the book, inspired by illustration workshop videos which Steve created especially for children. Francesca animated the resulting drawings into a beautiful stop-motion video. Watch the animation, and read all about the book, below!

Steve also created a mural for the school, inspired by the book, which is now proudly on display.

The book was officially launched on 27th May 2021 and is now available for purchase online and in bookshops!

Take flight into the dark and starry night – with Steve Smallman’s Mysterious Bird in the Moonlight!

Learn all about one of the UK’s most incredible nocturnal birds in this stunning new children’s book. Join the nightjar on his migration journey all the way from Africa to the marshy heathlands of Britain, and discover the truth behind the stories and myths that surround this wonderful creature. Do people really call him the Screech Hawk and the Goatsucker? What on earth is a Gabble Ratchet – and does it really eat bunnies for breakfast?! Let the nightjar tell you his story through this heart warming tale of friendship and adventure.

From the team behind the Land Lines Nature Writing Project, and writer and illustrator Steve Smallman, Land Lines Publishing of the university of Leeds is excited to launch this wonderful new picture book, with grateful thanks to our partners Natural England and funders the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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