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Picture Book Club – actual #20 Morag Hood

In February Picture Book Club made the first of what we hope will be a series of forays north of the border with a visit to Blackwells Bookshop in Edinburgh to meet author-illustrator Morag Hood.

I went to the London launch of Morag’s debut picture book Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea. It was my very first ‘proper’ book launch and I was incredibly star-struck to meet Morag. Colin and Lee has remained one of my favourites and it was wonderful to be able to catch up with Morag and look through what has since become an impressive back catalogue. She has really made her mark both as an author-illustrator and an author.

Morag brought along some of her sketch books, preparatory artwork and dummy books for Colin and Lee, I Am Bat, When Grandad Was A Penguin, The Steves and the very hot off the press Aalfred and Aalbert. Of course, we love a sneak peek at Picture Book Club and she also showed us some very special new work including the very shiny cover for Sophie Johnson, Detective Genius, the sequel to Sophie Johnson, Unicorn Expert (both written by Morag and illustrated by Ella Okstad).

It was particularly exciting to get a glimpse at the detail and hard work that goes on to produce Morag’s bold and deceptively simple illustrations. Morag works with collage, linocuts and hand printing. It was fascinating to see the work behind those processes, something we haven’t really seen before at Picture Book Club.

Of course, there was cake too. A bat cake in fact. And naturally, it had to be cherry!

You can watch the facebook live video of our first Edinburgh session here. Thank you to Morag for being such a great guest and for Blackwells for hosting.