Nick Sharratt has been an illustrator and author of children’s books since the late 1980s and has created illustrations for close to two hundred and fifty books so far. As well as producing around sixty of his own books he’s worked with numerous writers including Julia Donaldson, Michael Rosen, Giles Andreae, Kes Gray, Kaye Umansky and Jeremy Strong, his most famous collaboration being with Jacqueline Wilson, for whom he’s illustrated more than forty fiction titles, In 2006 he was the official illustrator for World Book Day and in 2009 he was honoured with a gold Blue Peter badge!
Q: What books did you read when you were a child?
A: Norman Hunter and E. Nesbit were two regularly chosen authors and I read my hardback editions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach over and over again.
Q: If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
A: Edward Ardizonne’s Tim
Q: What is the best thing about reading?
A: The unique way it can transport you to other times and places and right into the lifes and minds of other people.
Q: What is your all time favourite book?
A: It might be the picture book The General by Michael Foreman and Janet Charters. I was mesmerised by it when I was five and its images have haunted me ever since.
Q: Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
A: I’m not a parent but what has got to help is giving complete attention to what children have to say and talking with rather than to them.
Q: How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
A: They bought me interesting books to read every birthday and Christmas and took a lot of pride in my getting good marks in English lessons, reading my essays with interest. They saw how much I loved drawing so they made sure I had loads of art materials to experiment with and an endless supply of paper.
Q: How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
A: I’m a children’s author – I like reading my own books with children!