Kids’ books are no child’s play
Creators of some of the country’s best-known children’s fiction told University of Brighton School of Education students how writing and drawing are not as straight forward as they may seem.
Illustrator Nick Sharratt, winner of the Children’s Book Award, and Sophy Henn, picture book maker and University of Brighton graduate, spoke to students as part of ‘READ TO INSPIRE’, an annual event for the University’s Primary PGCE and Early Years trainee teachers.
The two explained just how complex creating can be: “Picture fiction are complex narratives where both word and image work together to form more than the sum of the parts.”
They shared their personal journeys to become children’s writers and illustrators, and revealed their motivations.
Sophy, awarded an MA in Illustration at the University, is the acclaimed picture book maker behind Where Bear? Pass It On, Lifesize and the Pom Pom series. Sophy was the official illustrator for World Book Day in 2015 and 2016 and for the cover of the most recent issue BOOKS FOR KEEPS!
Sophy said if she hadn’t become a writer/illustrator she would have liked to have become a tap dancer.
Nick Sharratt, whose books include Nice Work for the Cat and the King, told how he drew a picture when he was aged nine and showed it to his teacher. She thought it was good enough to put on the classroom wall – and the rest is history.
His collaboration with Jacqueline Wilson has resulted in the sale of 30 million books worldwide.
The event was organised by Senior Lecturer in English and Education Pamela Lewis who said: “We are so lucky to have so many children’s authors and illustrators living in the Brighton area. READ TO INSPIRE brings together award-winning writers who share their inspiration and insights into creative high-quality picturebooks.”
Students praised the event overwhelming:
“opened my eyes to the layers of complexity involved in creating picturebooks.”
“‘Nick and Sophy inspired us through their own creative journeys into becoming illustrators.”