There’s that saying that books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And as it’s much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world, books indeed make for an ideal gift.
For young children, books, especially picture books, open a window to other, greater worlds (including imaginary ones). If you’re looking for an original gift this holiday season, we recommend looking into Rob Hodgson’s picture book.
Based in Bristol, England, Hodgson is the author and illustrator of The Woods and The Cave, and the illustrator of An A to Z of Monsters and Magical Beings, Tattoo Time! Monster Activity, A Good Day for a Hat and Tony T-Rex’s Family Album. His books have been translated into a dozen languages and his first author/illustrated book, The Cave, was chosen by Book Trust to be given free to every reception aged child in England. So you know he’s got our seal of approval.
But according to Hodgson, he got into children’s books by mere chance. Having worked as an illustrator for years, it was only after working on a commission to illustrate someone else’s book that he fell in love with the process. “I was sent a huge (like, comedically huge) sack of kids’ book from an agent, who said he thought I’d be good at working on books,” he recalled what later happened in an interview with Deborah Kalb. “I’d never considered it before, and his gesture gave me the permission to think I could do it.”
When it comes to the creative process, Hodgson tends to stick to the same formula. “I always tend to start with the images. Usually I’ll sketch the characters in some early form, then start putting them in scenes, and then I start writing from there,” he explains. “Once there is something to jump off from, then I write and draw at the same time. Well, not exactly the same time. But you know what I mean!”
With Christmas just around the bend, you’d want to look into his work.