Abracadabra, katakurico! Oh, goodness! Out pops a cat from Hattie’s magic hat. Can you guess what creature will appear from the magic hat next? Follow along as Hattie conjures up a parade of animals from her magic hat, and don’t miss the grand finale! This humorous story is the perfect read-aloud to encourage audience participation.
Q: What do you enjoy most about writing and illustrating for children?
A: Making things is always a joy. I like building with timber and carpentry tools, like a book shelf or a chair. But there’s nothing more enjoyable than inventing a story and the images around it.
Q: Do you do all your writing first and then all your illustrating, or do both progress simultaneously as you develop a story?
A: The story and images help each other and develop into a picture book.
Q: What medium did you use to create these illustrations?
A: I drew with pen and ink first, then painted with watercolor.
Q: How has your advertising background influenced your career in children’s book illustration?
A: I learned to see things from the receiving end. Basically, I do things as I like, but sometimes I try to see if my idea would make sense to six years old readers.
Q: If you hadn’t started creating writing and illustrating children’s books, what would you be doing?
A: I would be a potter, a joiner, a stonemason. . . some kind of craftsman.
Q: How much of your drawing inspiration comes from the comics you enjoyed as a child?
A: Copying the comic characters I liked must have influenced my style of drawing. Also 60s and 70s graphic design and illustration from US, Europe, and Japan were big influences for me when I was a teenager.
Q: Hat Tricks features an adorable rabbit magician named Hattie—what inspired you to write a story about a rabbit and her magic hat?
A: I wanted to write a book about a magician. A rabbit is a typical animal that comes out of a magician’s hat, and I thought it would be fun if the rabbit herself was a magician.
Q: What did you enjoy most about this particular picture book? Which spread is your favorite?
A: I simply enjoyed drawing the animals. The best spread for me is of the animals trying to pull the elephant out of the hat.
Q: If you were Hattie, what would you pull out of your magic hat?
A: What a difficult question! How about a pair of magical wings that can make me fly freely like a bird?
Q: What do you find “magical”?
A: Being in the world is magical. That there is a world or universe and that we are all alive somewhere in this world are terribly magical to me.
Q: What can we look forward to next from you?
A: A book about smiles is coming out in Europe in the fall.