Polly Dunbar

As BookTrust's fourth writer in residence, Polly Dunbar invited us into her sketchbook.

She shared the creative process of capturing ideas and her day-to-day doodling and how these random thoughts could become stories, final artwork and eventually picture books. Polly also kept a record of her life as a book maker, the editorial meetings, school visits, puppet shows and the essential quiet time working from home.

Polly Dunbar

Polly Dunbar is one of today’s most exciting author-illustrators, her warm and witty books captivating children the world over.

She started writing and illustrating at age 16, when she published two books, which she describes as ‘cartoon books inspired by teenage antics'. After a foundation course in Norwich she went to Brighton University and graduated in 1999 with a degree in illustration.

Polly has gone on to write and illustrate many much loved picture books including Dog BlueFlyaway Katie and Penguin. Polly is the daughter of the distinguished author Joyce Dunbar and together they collaborated on the picture book Shoe Baby. She is also the illustrator of My Dad's a Birdman and The Boy Who Climbed Into the Moon, both written by David Almond.

Her bestselling book Penguin won the Nestle Silver Award 2007, Book Trust Early Years Award 2007, The Red House award 2008 and was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Polly is also the author and illustrator of Tilly and Friends, a humorous and engaging series of books following the gentle dramas of a wise little girl and her animal friends.

Polly is also the co-founder of Long Nose Puppets, an award-winning theatre company who have produced successful adaptations of the books Shoe BabyFly Away Katie and Penguin. She lives and works by the sea, in Brighton.

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Related books by Polly Dunbar


Author: Polly Dunbar

Polly Dunbar's illustrations are gorgeous and her palette stylish - from the endearing Ben's rosy cheeks to the magnificent turquoise lion who eats him up.

Read more about Penguin

A Lion is a Lion

Author: Polly Dunbar

Everyone knows that lions are fierce, but this lion is dressed smartly and skips down the street. When he visits a little girl and boy for lunch, he eats all his greens. But the children are still worried... A modern fable that's sure to become a real favourite.

Read more about A Lion is a Lion

Happy Hector

Author: Polly Dunbar

A tale of playtime for Tilly and her animal friends, this time exploring themes of playing alone and playing together, feeling alone and feeling loved.

Read more about Happy Hector

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