Sophy Henn on her love of animals

By Saskia Calliste

There might not be anyone else on the planet who loves animals as much as Sophy Henn. Sophy is a friend to all things furry and she’s bringing some of that love to this year’s festival: thank you Sophy! A first class picture book maker; she’s the heart behind the highly acclaimed ‘Where Bear?’ and the ‘Pom Pom’ series. If there’s anything more she enjoys than being around animals, it’s illustrating them… unless it’s horses and unicorns. Join us in welcoming Sophy at the festival for non-stop animal fun and her latest books ‘Lifesize’ and ‘Lifesize Dinosaurs’. You’re guaranteed to have a dino-mite time.

Sophy Henn

Tell us about your first pet?

My family always had loads of pets when I was growing up, the pets preceded me! But the first pet that was actually mine was a dog, a Lhasa Apso, called Crackers on account of us getting her around Christmas. She was quite the character and my Dad had a theory she was his mother reincarnate on account of her love of tea.

If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would you choose and why?

There is not an animal I do not like, so that is a very tough question. But these days I think I would only have rescue animals as pets as there are so many that need good homes. And if I am totally honest I might have been browsing the Guinea Pig section of my local animal shelter recently…. I LOVE them!

What’s your favourite animal to draw?

Bears. Always bears. My sketch books are filled with them. I think I find them comforting!

What’s the hardest animal to draw?

Horses. Actually horses AND unicorns, I dread being asked to draw them at live drawing events. Someone far cleverer than me suggested that if I am asked, I should draw a box and say the horse is in the box. Sneaky!

Who is your favourite illustrator?

OOOOH now that is an impossible question to answer, I have so many…but I will say that recently I have been enjoying looking at a lot of the old paperback covers Dick Bruna (creator of Miffy) illustrated and designed. I love the simplicity of his work, which is often the hardest thing to achieve. Genius.

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