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Anna Doherty, the amazing illustrator of Fair Shares, told us all about her time at Edinburgh Book Festival!

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Pippa Goodhart and Anna Doherty at Edinburgh Book Festival

On a super sunny day, I skip up to the Edinburgh Book Festival to meet Pippa Goodhart for the very first time. We’ve made a whole book together, but never once met in person! Over tiny sandwiches and soup, Pippa reveals herself to be very lovely, kind and a fountain of knowledge on the children’s book world. I could not have a better partner to do my very first Book Festival event with!

We are ushered over to where our event will be taking place and the seats fill up with children, some clutching well-loved copies of Pippa’s You Choose. Pippa puts on her very best reading-a-story voice and launches into our book, Fair Shares. She’s very good, and does all the voices. After the story, we talk a little about how to share, and what is fair. A tall child in the audience dresses up as Bear, and a smaller one as Hare, and – with Pippa as the tree – they see who can reach the pears. Pippa shares a brilliant unfair picture from her childhood of her and her family: her brother and sister are both holding a monkey each and little Pippa is in the middle looking rather put out.

Time for more stories! Ding-Dong Doorbell, a tale about a rabbit dividing her cake up between more and more friends, and Puss in Boots. The children stared up silently, captivated. We talk about the randomness of sharing by luck, with my drawing three people and three sets of clothes, and the children picking numbered balls out a bag to decide who wears what. “Peter” ended up with a skirt and trousers, whereas “Clay” had two hats and a bare bottom – not very fair!

Fair Shares

Fruit shaped stickers and worksheets featuring the characters from Fair Shares are distributed, and the children decide how to fairly divide up the fruit. Should Bear get more because she’s got a bigger tummy? Or should everyone get the same? Should you draw some extra food in, food that the animals would prefer?

And then it is time to go home! Some books are signed, and some children go home clutching Fair Shares alongside You Choose.

All in all, a very lovely event about sharing to share with Pippa! Hopefully we can do another one day soon.

  • How can we explain the idea of fairness to children?

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