Hello! I’m Karl Newson, a children’s book writer and illustrator from London, UK. I am the author of For All the Stars Across the Sky, A Bear is a Bear (except when he's not), Here Comes the Sun, Fum and Little Grey's Birthday Surprise, and… BOOK NEWS! there are two new picture books due for publication later in 2019!
I’m also an illustrator of other people’s books and a writer of nonsense poetry. I like to make things up and see where the idea takes me…
I grew up in Norwich, Norfolk, where I spent most of my days making dens, playing football and running amok in the suburbs and fields; but on rainy days I stayed indoors and drew until my pens ran out of colour. My family have hugely inspired me along the way, from my parents and grandparents when I was small, to my children now I’m a little bit bigger. When I’m not making things up, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, walking, reading adventure stories, watching science fiction films, and listening to music… and the occasional rocket flight to the moon. I love to gaze at the stars and wonder... and I always catch my best ideas just before bed (I keep a big net by my bed, just in case one floats by).
Clients include: Macmillan Children's Books, Nosy Crow, Walker Books, Stripes, Liontree Publishing, Parragon Books, Maverick, Quarto.
Here are some QUESTIONS & ANSWERS, asked by Ben (aged 9) and Jack (aged 6)...
What is your favourite colour? Red
What is your favourite food? I'm a big fan of cake and biscuits. Chocolate fudge cake is the best cake in the world!
What do you like doing? Drawing, painting, writing, and listening to my record collection. I enjoy watching David Attenborough's documentaries too, and all things space related. And walking and exploring. And adding to my picture book collection. And discovering new illustrators and authors. And of course, dunking biscuits.
If you could travel to anywhere, where would you go? The moon! I've gazed up at it in wonder ever since I was a boy. I'd love to visit one day... a rocket ride would be preferable, but I would definitely have a go at climbing a ladder if there was one.
What is your favourite picture book? That's a tough one and it changes all the time. If I had to choose just one I think it would be Julia Donaldson's and Axel Scheffler's The Snail and the Whale. The idea of a tiny sea snail hitching a ride on the tail of a whale is nothing short of brilliant. Beautiful illustrations. Wonderfully told.
What is your favourite animal? An Elephant. One of my most favourite days was the day I fed an elephant. It curled its long winding trunk around the small leaf of lettuce I held out to it, and I was, for a moment, in a world of my own. I have a little-big elephant collection at home, everything from cards to coat hooks, wood carvings to candles. You could say I'm an elephant keeper (which would be my other dream job).
Where do you get your ideas from? Anywhere and everywhere, but mostly when I don't have a pen! My head tends to wonder off down all sorts of avenues, shopping around for ideas while I'm busy dunking my third biscuit, usually in the middle of another project. Sometime ideas are fully formed, sometimes its just a word or a doodle that will sow the seed. Either way, I'm happy for them to keep on coming.
What do you dislike? Mashed potatoes! Bleurrgh! I'm not so keen on sleep either. Nor my chances of going to the moon...
What do you like? Biscuits! Drawing, painting and writing, and the exciting feeling that accompanies a new idea.
Thank you, Ben & Jack!