Welcome to the next post in our "Spotlight Series", where we speak to some of our favourite children's book authors and illustrators! There's been a bit of a delay since our last post due to everything that's been going on, but we're back and ready with our next amazing author/ illustrator, who just happens to be a fellow Queensland local, and one of our ALL. TIME. FAVOURITES - PHILIP BUNTING!! I'm still humbled and amazed that Philip even took the time to answer these questions... total #fangirl moment for sure.

If you've been following Bookieboo for a while, or if you've received any of our subscription boxes, you'll know that we're BIG Bunting fans around here (both Philip and his incredible wife, Laura - **who we hope to feature at a later date!**) You may recognise Philip's work from his humorous and very punny Australian- animal series (think Koalas Eat Gum Leaves, Kookaburras Love to Laugh) but he has a heap of other amazing titles too - some of which are featured below. We particularly love Another Book About Bears, Sandcastle, and How Did I Get Here?  

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Now we COULD spend this whole post gushing over Philip's amazing books, but let's get to the Q&A... Enjoy!


Can you start by telling us a funky fact about yourself?
Well, I'm one of the least funky people going around – there's less funk in me than there is in James Brown's left sock. May his funky soul rest in peace. But one slightly odd thing is that my working day starts at 4am each morning. I'm up with the kookaburras every day for two reasons:
  1. I love what I do, and I look forward to getting stuck into my work each day.
  2. I have three beautiful children (6, 4, 2), and I work from home. So those precious few hours of pre-breakfast peace in the morning are the key to me getting anything done. 
Where do you find your inspiration, or sources of creativity?
I guess I'm always drawn to questions, and in particular questions that we will probably never answer: What happened before the Big Bang? What is consciousness? How did geochemistry become biochemistry? Why do so many seagulls have only one leg? Questions that lead to more questions – those really float my boat!

Which of your books are you most proud of? (I know it's probably like choosing a favourite child...!
This changes all of the time, but I'd have to say Mopoke, because it was my first, and I'm still not entirely sure what it's about. Some say the answer to meaning of life is in that book, but I don't believe them.   

What was your favourite book as a child? What is your favourite book now? My favourite books from childhood were all non-fiction reference books on dinosaurs. I was obsessed with the ol' terrible lizards! I read a lot now, mostly non-fiction still. A few new-ish books that have really stuck with me recently are: Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman; Conscious by Annika Harris; Reality Is Not What It Seems by Carlo Rovelli; and probably most of all The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.

Is there another author or illustrator that you admire or look up to? 
In picture books I admire people who can do both words and pictures – I quite like Carson Ellis (US), and Shinsuke Yoshitake (Japan). Both are beautifully peculiar. I'm not looking up to these people so much, but greatly respect what they do. The literary folks I look up to are [mostly] ex-folks – Seamus Heaney, William Blake, the Pythons [Cleese, Idle and pals].  

If you hadn't become an author & illustrator, what do you think you might be doing as a career? 
I love creating books. Always have, always will. Even if they didn't pay me to make them, I'd still create books for the joy of the process (but don't tell my publisher that!). Otherwise, I've always quite fancied being a bank robber. Who doesn't love a bank robber?

What advice would you give to a child that is interested in becoming an author or illustrator? 
Do what you love, do it every day, and then figure out a way to get paid for it (so you don't have to become a bank robber). There is nothing more important than daily practice.

Time for a Rapid Fire "This or That"! 

Day or Night? Day! I'm very diurnal (see the first question!).
Dogs or Cats? Cats, by a whisker. P.s. I have a pair of board books due for publication on this very topic, in April: Cats Say Nau and Dogs Say Bau.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Batman or Superman? Meh.
Summer or Winter? Winter.
Comedy or RomCom? Comedy. Always.

This was such an incredible opportunity to get to know Philip Bunting a little bit, and I hope you enjoyed it! Philip has some amazing new books either just released or coming very soon - The Wonderful Wisdom of Ants has just come out in February, his first board books, Cats Say Nau and Dogs Say Bau will be released in April, and Your Planet Needs You! will be published in May - we can't wait! 
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We'll include Philip's socials and website below - if you aren't familiar with his work, check him out!

Instagram: @philip.bunting

Looking forward to sharing our next Spotlight! xx Bookieboo

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