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Writing picture books

11 July 2011

'When I'm writing a picture book, I automatically think "I don't need to say that" because the pictures will say it. Or better still, "I'll say this and the pictures will say that, which contradicts it"...

Usually you can't build a house without an architect doing drawings - there is an intention prior to the existence for the building. But books are made up like sandcastles, you add stuff and knock it down and change it - and, in fact, you didn't even know you were building a castle at first, you thought you were building a garage. Or you were going to have a cave and instead it turned into a garden full of shells...

I'm like a dripping tap. As I get older I drip more slowly, but I still come down here. I'm less impatient to spend hour after hour writing, though I like it as much as ever. I don't mind now if it takes me two years to write a few little poems.'

Allan Ahlberg in the Guardian