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We were lucky enough to get the chance to sit down with fabulous illustrator Anna Doherty and chat about her latest book with us, Fair Shares!

What does the story of Fair Shares mean to you?
Sharing and being fair are obviously very important, but also standing up for unfairness and learning how to explain to others how to be fairer – like Beetle does – is very important to learn from a young age.

Do you think you’re more like Bear or Hare?
I think I am more like Hare, because I am quite small and would also need two chairs to reach the pears.

What was it like working with author Pippa Goodhart?
It was lovely! She had created such a sweet story with brilliant characters, so it was really fun to illustrate them. It’s really nice to work as a team to make a book.

Anna Doherty

Can you tell us a bit about the process of illustrating the book?
There are lots of steps to illustrating a book. Pippa had already written the story, so I read that over and over until I knew it really well. Then I thought of lots and lots of ideas for what each page might look like (what characters will be on the page; will you see them close up or far away; will you look at them straight on or from above or from another angle?) until I had got each page exactly how I wanted it. Once that was all sorted out it was time to try out different colours and different ways of drawing things. I used a mix of real-life drawing on paper and digitally drawing on the computer so that I could have lots of different textures and colours.

How did you design the loveable characters Bear and Hare?
I started off by drawing real bears and real hares so I could figure out the shape and movement of them, and then slowly added more character to the drawings. I used a lot of different pencil and ink textures to make their fur which was fun.

How do you feel now that your beautiful book is out in the world?
I’m excited! I hope everyone enjoys hanging out with Bear and Hare as much as I did, and I hope that people can learn about sharing, and also about listening to each other’s ideas.

Do you have anything you want to say to parents and children who read Fair Shares?
I hope you enjoy the book! And I hope that the next time you see something that is unfair, you can explain how to make it more fair – like the wise Beetle!

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