Puppets, paints and superpowers with Polly Dunbar
Barnes Children’s Literature Festival: What would you be doing if you weren’t an amazing illustrator and author?
Polly Dunbar: My favourite thing to do, aside from illustrating, is making puppets and putting on shows. I think making things, whatever they are is good for the soul. If I could do something entirely different I’d like to sing and dance. I do both very badly I’m afraid. The characters in my book often dance, so maybe they’re doing it for me.
BCLF: What’s the best thing about what you do?
PD: I’m very lucky to make books as a job, here are some of the reasons:
I get to stay at home and draw all day, I could stay in my pyjamas if I wanted to.
I get to stare out of the window and think really hard (and call it work).
I get to invent characters and share them with children.
It’s the best feeling when a new book arrives in the post.
BCLF: What is your favourite word?
BCLF: What’s your greatest fear?
PD: I’m scared of heights. I recently visited a castle to do some research for an illustration. I walked all around the ramparts and was so scared I really wanted to slither along on my belly.
BCLF: What is your hidden talent?
PD: My thumb wiggles when I write, apparently I hold my pencil all wrong but I’ve learnt to live with that.
BCLF: What is your superpower?
PD: I’m able to find things in a big messy studio just by hovering my hands above the mess until I find what I need. It’s a very useful super power, it saves me tidying up.
BCLF: Who is your favourite literary villain?
PD: Am I allowed to choose my own character? I’ve just written a book about a rather devilish Lion, it’s called ‘A Lion is a Lion‘. He’s ever so polite (and very good at singing and dancing) but but don’t be fooled – he has very sharp teeth.
BCLF: You’re the fantasy festival programmer. Who would you love to see come to Barnes?
PD: Tolstoy and Doctor Seuss in Conversation, please.