Winter weather a year or so back, mixed with a measure of awe at James Mayhew’s work in Tewkesbury on Noya’s Fludde led me to write Mrs Noah’s Pockets. Years ago James and I had made a bargain. He would write me a text ( Can You See a Little Bear) and I would write him one. So, I emailed the text to him and then waited nervously.
When James wrote Little Bear for me I was on the verge of giving up illustration. I was disenchanted with the publishing industry and struggling. He gave me a text to play with, and it renewed my enthusiasm. I new James was looking for a change in direction, despite the wonderful success of his Katie books, and I adored what I saw of the Fludde images, so utterly lively and lovely.
James said yes. We took the work to Janetta Otter-Barry who had published Little Bear and Janetta said yes.
Now, gradually, I am watching with wonderment as James puts flesh on the bones of my words. He is such a star. Here he is performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
Here is a link to some of the work James produced for Noye’s Fludde in Tewkesbury:
And here, amazing film of the show:
Mrs Noah’s Pockets is about a character very under-represented in historical writings, the long suffering wife of the boat builder. The story came in such a rush that it seemed the words were writing themselves. Together, I hope, James and I are creating something different.
Text for first page: