Bookbug Author Spotlight: Nick Sharratt

Bookbug's Author Spotlight gives you the chance to learn more about the work of authors, illustrators, and publishers connected to the Bookbug programme. This month we shine the spotlight on Nick Sharratt, illustrator of the brilliantly funny, Pants. Pants is currently included in our Bookbug Toddler Bag


What inspired you to start illustrating for children?

Quite simply, I’ve always loved to draw. I remember that from a very early age, whenever I looked at enjoyable illustrations in the books that I had, I would think to myself ‘ I’d like to do that’.


What is your favourite memory from childhood?

I think some of my happiest memories are of days spent at the seaside, splashing in the sea with my brother and sisters, building sandcastles and eating sandy sandwiches.


What’s your top tip for sharing Pants with little ones?

Giles’ words for Pants have such a marvellous rhythm to them they’re brilliant for little ones to join in with.  You could, for example, get them to call out the word ‘Pants’ each time it crops up in the verse.


If you could live in any book you’ve written or illustrated which would it be and why?

Image from Mr.Pod and Mr.Picallili

I would live in Mr Pod and Mr Piccalilli (text by Penny Dolan), specifically in Mr Pod’s flat which I furnished very much to my own tastes (see image, left).


Is there a picture book you wish you’d written or illustrated?

Just about every book I‘ve seen that was created by Janet and Allan Ahlberg.


Tell us about the view from the office/studio where you work?

The view from my studio is of a leafy Edinburgh street. I like the peace and quiet but my previous studio was right opposite a primary school and I miss having the day punctuated by the merry din of children in the playground at breaktime.


What’s your top tip for budding authors or illustrators?

It’s easy to want to abandon a drawing or a story if it’s not going quite how you want, but try to finish it if you can. Getting the job done is an essential part of being a professional writer or illustrator.


What do you enjoy doing other than writing/illustrate children’s books?

No one believes this but being a children’s book illustrator is hard work and very time-consuming (as well as lots of fun)  and when I’m not in my studio or doing book-related events, I’m extremely happy doing as little as possible. I’m really good at snoozing!


Which books did you love as a child?
Scene from The General by Michael Foreman

I loved my two hardback Roald Dahls: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach and I loved them for the illustrations as much as for the words. The picture book that struck a chord with me more than any other when I was very little was The General by Michael Foreman and Janet Charters: the illustrations have haunted me all my life (see image,left).


What’s your favourite thing about your local library?

What I like about my local library in Edinburgh is that it is always busy.


Watch Nick Sharratt discuss the magic of picture books in our Early Years Experts section of the website.