As children we tend to see things more simply and as a result perhaps more clearly, as impressions are generally stripped of complexity and rely more on essential elements.
As a child I travelled a good deal – both between countries with my family and between boarding school and home. Favourite words when I was very small were “how” and “why” and my earliest memories seem mostly to have involved the senses – touch, smell, sound, sight and taste.
In writing children’s books, or making artists books for children, I envisage a child (real or imagined) and write the book as though telling a story to them. Children love stories and story-telling is an art that is as old as man – we can imagine the caveman recounting the chase that resulted in the food enjoyed by his family.
For me, children’s books occupy the space between the traditional books and artists’ books. Where possible I do the illustrations myself, so as to tell the story ‘my way’.
There is a child in all of us. We can sense the child in us as we experience the joy of watching a fireworks display – or seeing the mist rising from forested hills in the early morning.
As I write for children I remember the child in me and hope that this will help me to engage the imagination of the young reader