On the release of her new picture book, the acclaimed New Zealand writer (creator Hairy Maclary) and illustrator talks to the Guardian blog about animal antics and her favourite children’s books:
Does the rise of technology used by young children concern you at all. How can a simple picture book ever compete?
A good picture book has the power to pull children away from devices. I guess that’s the modern-day challenge for the writer-illustrator. Reading is essential and it’s thrilling to see children enjoying a print book. Children are fascinated by illustration, not just the story, and are very observant. The picture book fulfils this fascination. They all draw, which is wonderful.
Children often have the notion that producing a picture book is quick and easy. I can tell you it’s not. It takes me up to a year to produce one book. They can’t be whipped up, and telling children that I do up to 25 drafts to get the text right often stumps them.