Monday 25 March 2013

The ReadItDaddy Interview - Clara Vulliamy, author and illustrator of the latest Martha and the Bunny Brothers book "I Heart Bedtime"

Martha Hearts Bedtime!
It's launch week for Clara Vulliamy's latest (and we think greatest!) "Martha and the Bunny Brothers" book "I Heart Bedtime". We are very fortunate to have Clara guesting on our blog, answering some of our trickiest questions and we really appreciate her taking some time out of a very busy launch schedule to pop in and say hi.  Take it away, Clara!

ReadItDaddy (Daddy):  Hi Clara and congratulations on your new book "I Heart Bedtime" which looks fantastic. Tell us a little bit about it and what inspired the story?

Clara Vulliamy: 

Thank you very much! In I Heart Bedtime, Martha is trying to get her bouncy bunny brothers Monty and Pip into bed EARLY, so she can have some extra special time with best babysitter Grace-next-door. But this is a something of a challenge…

Bedtime is a fabulous theme for a book – it’s a daily family saga of sometimes epic (and exasperating) proportions, and it’s full of detail and different routines. Funny, sweet, and – in the bunny household - utterly chaotic.

ReadItDaddy (Daddy): We're massively grateful for all the support you've given our #ReaditMummiesandDaddies2013 campaign (you are a star!) Can you tell us why you think it's important for parents to read to their children?

Clara Vulliamy: 

I’m proud to be on board!
Getting children hooked on reading begins a lifelong love affair with books. Reading aloud to them, when they are babies and small children and when they are older too, does several incredibly important things:
it draws them in to the thrill of the story and develops their powers of imagination and observation,
it tells them that YOU love books too (there’s no better advertisement than that!),
and it’s a love thing - showing them that, for these few moments, there’s nowhere you’d rather be than right here.

ReadItDaddy (Daddy): I love your artistic style, describe a typical day when you're busy creating!

Clara Vulliamy: 

I start working early – the family ‘workers’ have left the house by 7.30 – so I’m at my desk with a strong coffee pretty much then.
If I’m writing, there’s lots of end-of-pencil-chewing, staring out of the window, day-dreaming. I might spend all morning writing one sentence and all afternoon rubbing it out.
But if I’m illustrating it’s much more delicious – squeezing out paints, cutting and sticking… think nursery school but not on one of those agonizing tiny chairs.

ReadItDaddy (Daddy): Finally from me before I hand over to Charlotte (and this is the killer question) name 5 books you'd take to a desert island!

Clara Vulliamy: 

That IS a killer! Only 5??

I would take:
  • Babar for his elegant green suit and spats;
  • Winnie the Pooh for my great pal Piglet;
  • A poetry anthology for some learning-by-heart;
  • His Dark Materials for the soul;
  • ...and an A to Z of London to remember all the places I love. 

ReadItDaddy (Charlotte): Do you have any bunnies at home as you really draw nice bunnies.

Clara Vulliamy: 

Thank you so much, Charlotte!
I love drawing bunnies, especially their soft pink noses and their long ears (that are a great way to show feelings – droopy for sad, perky for happy).
I did have a bunny called Mistletoe, but now I have two guinea pigs called Delilah and Maccabees. They keep me company and love to chat ALL THE TIME!

ReadItDaddy (Charlotte): What's the hardest thing to draw?

Clara Vulliamy: 

I used to think that cars were the hardest. The cars I drew looked like potatoes on wheels. But just recently I’ve been doing a book that has LOTS of cars in it, and I have loved doing them!
But I still can’t draw a tractor or a train…

ReadItDaddy (Charlotte): Who is your favourite Disney Princess (or other Princess)?

Well – I hope this is right, I THINK she’s a princess – my favourite is Snow White. It was one of the first films I ever saw at the cinema, and I thought she was very pretty. And I thought the witch was absolutely terrifying. There are lots of rabbits in that film, too!

(Charlotte says "Snow White is MY favourite too! She's the most beautiful Disney Princess!)

Huge gigantic massive thanks Clara for popping by to say hi to us and for answering our tricky questions. We wish you all the very best with your book launch!

"I Heart Bedtime" by Clara Vulliamy and published by HarperCollins Children's Books is out on the 28th March 2013. We'll be reviewing it very very soon so keep an eye out for our verdict! In the meantime if you'd like to win a copy, pop on by our competition page! Tweet us something Bunny  and Funny with the hashtag #iheartbedtime for a chance to win !