Local illustrator Rob Jones always wanted to create a children’s book and, in Where’s Brian’s Bottom? the dream has unfolded!
“I’ve always loved dogs, especially sausage dogs,” says Rob, who lives in Abingdon, “but sadly I’ve never owned one. I’m hoping one day I’ll have one called Brian!”
Where’s Brian’s Bottom? is Rob’s new board book for toddlers that unfolds to two metres long. Young readers are encouraged to help Brian find his bottom in the house and learn about different animals and the sounds they make.
“I didn’t used to draw dogs that often,” adds Rob, “until I illustrated The Funny Life of Pets by James Campbell. I find I draw them all the time now. Anytime I sign a card or book, there will usually be a doodle of a dog.”
Rob studied illustration at the University of Gloucestershire and it was during this time that he discovered a love for making books, toys and puppets. He has made many puppets for the Story Museum’s Christmas production in Oxford. His first book, Bernard, won the People’s Book Prize in 2014. “I owe a lot to the Story Museum,” says Rob. “They were really supportive of me when my first book Bernard was released.
I once took part in an exhibition there called “the illustrator zoo” where visitors could watch me work on book ideas. I’ve made puppets for four of their shows, the first being Winter Mouse, which was made using a sleeve from an old jumper. I’m looking forward to taking my son there once it reopens.
“My advice to any budding illustrators out there is not to give up! There have been many times over the last 10 years when I’ve been close, but something has always happened to keep me going. I am also very lucky, as my family, friends and colleagues are all so supportive of me.”
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