The day after the picture book workshop, I had a thirst for yeah, you guessed it CAKE!!!!! No, sorry picture books. I went to Daunt bookshop and sat on the floor for about 45 mins, after which time I’d fallen side ways and was treating the place as if it were my own library.
I peered through the crevices of each book on the shelf, giggling and ummming as I flipped through the pages. I quietly queried the illustration’s, the font, the layout the double spread here, the vigrettes there, then eeeeEEEEK!
A book I hadn’t seen since I was a child swung out of the shelf and sat tugging at my feet. I guess, it’s kind of like when you’re in the supermarket and you hear a song which means something to you, and suddenly a domino of memories tumble down to all of your immediate senses, forcing you to stop panicking about what to cook that evening and just. Listen.
‘Willy The Wimp’ playfully shoved its new pages into my hands, and made me do that exact same thing. I was like ‘Whaaaaat!’ The illustrations are what hit me first, next the BANGING colours, not to mention the star of the show a clothes wearing monkey called Willy-That cool red Adidas rip off tracksuit, stands out as something I distinctly remember, the attention detail here is fab!
And yes, you soon forgot that the protagonist was not human, down to Anthony Browne’s effortless job at humanising Willy and his story, one of bullying, confidence and self image.
Double Gush, and a scoop of custard! There’s me, 7 years old or something, soaking up this book in a corner somewhere, never realising what an impact books like these would have on me in the future. It really blows my mind…