‘Who is Sleeping?’ and ‘Who is the Biggest?’ are my two new board books.
I have been making board books from the beginning of my career as an author nad illustrator. ‘Strawberries are Red’ and ‘What is Black and White?’ were my very first books to be published and they are still in print after seventeen years.
I love making board books and I am lucky to be published by Walker Books who know how to make good board books.
I was once comparing writing a picture book to writing a novel. If a picture book would be like writing a novel, then board book would be like writing a poem.
Which one is easier?
In my board books I like to introduce a basic story, visual joke, a message. I often shape pages, use ‘lift the flaps’, holes and cut outs in the pages.
When I am working on a picture book I very soon slip into my own world, where it is me, who has to be happy with the story and the pictures. When I am working on a board book it is different. I think about the child the whole time from designing the book to illustrating the pictures.
I like watching a child looking at new things, learning, discovering the world. It is fascinating to see how a child never rests and is learning all the time.
It is important to realise that by giving a child a board book we are introducing him not to a toy, but to literature and visual art. A board book is often a child’s very first contact with art and literature.
This is why I think that good quality board books are so important. Children are investigative and clever and they deserve more than just random colourful images. The board book should have a story.