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Junior Meets: Patrick George's Peter Scott

We chat to one half of the talented husband-and-wife team behind our Highly Commended Picture Book Of The Year, Colours


Posted: 8 June 2012
by Fiona McKim

Where did your inspiration for the book come from?
Having always worked with a bright colour palette it's been in the back of my mind to dedicate a book to this subject but given the abundance of other books on colours, I was keen to find an approach which I hadn't seen done before. While working on our previous book, Opposites, I was struck how clearly colours would change when different coloured acetate sheets were overlaid each other, giving vibrant colour combinations working in the same way as if you were mixing colour pigments. What brought the concept to life was being able to transform the image as well as the colour by virtue of flipping the acetate page - it's simple but there's something surprising about seeing the colour change before your eyes without relying on a digital format.

Did you love books when you were growing up?
Books didn't feature strongly when I was growing up so I had a kind of renaissance when I had my own kids and started sharing the experience with them. I was struck by how they latch onto details and interpretations in the imagery that might be overlooked or even lost on an adult audience.

What were your passions as a child?
I was obsessed with pets and planes.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I can't remember being focused on anything in particular, although I discovered a drawing recently that I'd done aged six of me surrounded by penguins, so perhaps a zoo keeper?

Who are your favourite children’s authors and illustrators?
I'm a sucker for a story with a happy ending and I'm willing to have an author manipulate my emotions to that end. I have frequently found myself holding back the tears while reading a Michael Morpurgo book to the kids - a bit off-putting when they're looking at you dry-eyed and bemused! As for illustrators, I admire people who can bring a character to life with just a few marks on the page - so Quentin Blake, for me, is a hero for the energy and personality his creations have. And when he combines with Roald Dahl you have works of genius.

Which children’s character do you identify with most?
Possibly Wally, of 'Where's Wally' fame, who I suspect shares my joy of being lost in a crowd while secretly craving a desire for recognition.

What advice would you give to a child who wanted to be a writer/illustrator?
To write and draw the kind of things you'd like to read - and not to worry about how other people might view it.

Tell us a bit about your family
We have three children, George (12), Laura (9) and Patrick (7). We're lucky that all three of them love books, and although we've always read to them it's never been something that's felt forced. I've got to know certain books very well as they've been pulled off the shelf for each successive child - from Peepo, Dear Zoo, Goodnight Moon, to Dr Seuss, any books by Anthony Browne, through Famous Five, Narnia, and now our eldest is into Patrick Ness.

How do you feel about the rise of E-readers and storybook apps?
The new technologies definitely have their place and can be a useful tool if they're done well. The best ones I've seen disregard their roots as a book and reinvent themselves embracing what's possible in a digital format. That said, and particularly for a younger audience, I'd like to see that level of interactivity achieved from a physical book using a child's imagination - Herve Tullet's 'Press Here' proves that it's possible and is the more remarkable for it.

What is your next project?
I've been delighted by how the acetate series has been received and I'd like to explore this concept further, perhaps with a few more playful angles.

Find out... Why PatrickGeorge's Colours was highly commended in the Junior Design Awards 2012

Plus Discover PatrickGeorge's other shortlisted entry, Opposites

Don't miss... The Junior Meets hub of exclusive interviews, inside scoop interviews and quirky Q&As, with exciting interviewees including: Tommy HilfigerSir Paul SmithStella McCartney and lots of other influential fashion designers, authors and illustrators including Quentin Blake and Jeff Kinney, great business minds including Lord Alan Sugar and, everyone's favourite fashionable frog, Kermit.


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patrickgeorge, patrick george, ann scott, peter scott, colours, opposites, best picture book junior design awards, best kids book, best children's book, junior meets
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