We were lucky enough to speak to author and Children’s Book Award nominee Jarvis about his brilliant book Mrs Mole, I’m Home! This lovely picture book by the quirky author and illustrator of Lazy Dave and Odd Bods is beautifully illustrated and written. We find out a little more about the man with one name in this interview by Children's Book Award sponsor BookLife Publishing.
Why did you choose to become an illustrator/author?
Nearly 5 years ago, I was predominantly working in animation; directing, designing and storyboarding. I began to have ideas for stories which I thought would be better as books rather than animations. So I put together some illustrations and tried my luck.
At what age did you start illustrating and writing stories?
Illustration has always been something I did: I doodled a lot as a kid. Stories came later.
Please give us a brief description of your book which has been shortlisted for this years Children’s book awards.
Mrs Mole, I’m Home! is about Morris Mole’s journey home from work… without his much-needed glasses.
What inspired you to write this book?
Often, for me, a simple image is the spark to a story. I drew a little mole popping up in a mound of much shouting ‘Honey, I'm home’ and then began to wonder what would happen if he had popped up in the wrong place.
Where do your ideas for new books come from?
I have no idea. I sometimes have a flurry of ideas that appear quite finished. Sometimes I go months without thinking or even trying to think of anything new... then an idea hits me out of nowhere. And sometimes I sit down and force an idea to appear.
What does it mean to you to know that your book was voted for by so many children for this year’s award?
I create picture books and send them out into the world not knowing how they will fare, so it’s a great feeling that children have enjoyed them!
Which books or illustrators have inspired you throughout your life and who are your favourite illustrators now?
As a child, I was addicted to the ‘Bash Street Kids’. They had a mixture of oddness, humour and heart. The one ‘new’ book I refer to as what opened up my eyes to picture books was ‘NO!’ by Marta Altes. I think I randomly picked it up in a bookshop and decided that picture books was where I wanted to be..
Where and when do you choose to create your books?
I have an office in my home, and I create them all day, every day!
If you were to offer a child who likes to illustrate stories a piece of advice – what would it be?
Keep enjoying it. Having a career in art/writing will pull you one way then another and as much as it’s good to please others, you have to enjoy it yourself too.
Want to own your own copy of Mrs Mole, I’m Home! by Jarvis?
Buy your copy here
Watch the Video Trailer for the book here: