A family duo, Sue and Paul are in the Top 10 Bestselling picture book authors alongside Julia Donaldson and Judith Kerr and their books have sold over 1.5 million copies in UK. They are the creators of Supertato, Barry the Fish with Fingers, No-Bot and many more characters. Earlier this year their World Book Day Charity £1 Supertato book Books Are Rubbish was number 1 across Adult and Children’s Bestselling Charts in March 2020. Today, they join us in The Reading Realm to discuss their new book No-Bot: The Robot’s New Bottom!
Without giving too much away, can you tell us about your new book ‘No-Bot: The Robot’s New Bottom’?
‘No-Bot : The Robot’s New Bottom’ is a sequel to one of our best selling books ‘No-Bot the Robot with no bottom’. In it Bernard the robot has a rather awkward problem – his bottom is making a funny noise! In fact It looks like it’s going to explode!!! Fortunately Bernards friend’s are on hand to help him find a replacement but will it be suitable?
How would you say ‘No-Bot: The Robot’s New Bottom’ is similar to your other popular ‘Supertato’ series? How is it different?
No-Bot and Supertato inevitably share our very grown up sense of humour and both share bright colourful artwork. This is where the similarities end. There are no exploding bottoms in the Supertato series (yet)!
What really struck me was how much fun this was to read out loud! How important is this to you? How do you ensure a picture book ‘sounds right’ when read aloud?
It is vital to us that our books work well when read out load. We read the stories out loud to each other constantly while making them, they need to have pace, drama, and silly bits. It is also important to us that they are accessible to new readers.
I’ve discovered that you both write and illustrate your books – how does this work? Can you describe your process for us?
Yes, we both write the books and we both illustrate them. One of us will come up with a story or a character and show the other. If we agree that it’s a goodun’ then we both sit down at our desks and draw some rough sketches. These sketches get put up on the magnet wall and we stand in front of it making changes and stroking our chins. Once we are happy we start to make the art digitally and at that stage it is easy to work on images together. Pretty much the same deal for the words. We work pretty well together and hardly ever argue!… much.
What’s in store next for Bernard the Robot and his friends? Are there any plans for another book?
Oh, we hadn’t thought of that. Maybeeeeee? We don’t really plan what is next. What ever idea seems the best and most fun we go with.
Finally, can you describe ‘No-Bot: The Robot’s New Bottom’ in three words?
Silly, Bottomy, Fun.