Speaker – Debi Gliori, 26th October 2011

As all I have ever been able to draw is breath, I am always amazed by the skill of those who can lift a pencil or paint brush and create beautiful things. Debi Gliori has that special gift and during her talk we were transported into the world of Pip, a little rabbit, and his extended family who enjoy reading, knitting, drinking cups of tea, taking leisurely baths and even seeking inspiration, as she does, by playing the fiddle. But no TV, which she feels dulls the senses and the imagination.

Pip is the hero of Debi’s latest book, The Scariest Thing of All, in which this tiny bunny learns to overcome his long list of fears. The wild wood with its scary things is delightfully drawn and I for one could happily spend hours teasing out the detail of the story and every illustration with my granddaughter.

Debi’s presentation gave us an insight into the work of a children’s author. She has her own writing shed where her desk faces a blank wall so she can give free rein to her vivid imaginings. Ideas do not come easily, and even when they do she can fill notebooks with text until she gets it just right. To Debi voice is key, and her perfectionism ensures that her books are the best they can be. She feels her audience deserves no less.

Debi came with a box full of books, including magical tales such as Goodnight Baby Bat and The Trouble with Dragons, many of which are now destined for Christmas stockings. Makes me want to be a kid again, rushing down to see what Santa had brought!

Catherine Lang

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