Meet Magilla the Police Gorilla. He came into being about eight years ago (I have since seen a character called Magilla, but I had no knowledge of that at the time. Our Magilla was part of bedtime stories made up by my husband.) Anyway, after the Albertina Tiger Jones book success, Magilla was next in line. Here you can see him with his change of clothes - police uniform and banana pyjamas - along with the flap that he lives in when he's not moving through the story.
Here is the fold out block of flats where the rabbits live. There is a whole crowd of them in the bush that can be placed anywhere on the building as the stairs, balconies, and window-boxes are all on foam pads.
This is the computer screen where Magilla goes through fingerprint recognition. The white pieces at the side are pull-out tabs so the reader can match the print and the species.
Like all good police officers, Magilla has crime-scene tape. The cobble-stones are made with felt-tip pens scribbled on to a block stamp.
Here are some of the buildings of Animal Town.
These are some of the things that Magilla carries. You can see his radio, evidence bags, an A to Z so he can find his way around the town. Of course, nowadays he would have his mobile phone and that would serve for everything :)
Here is an aerial view of the town.
I had such fun making these books for my daughter and she had such fun reading and re-reading them. I've made three other story books since then and each one has its own style. I love exploring the form - writing the story, making the book, and doing illustrations in different styles, and incorporating as many interactive and pop-up elements as possible.
How do you push your creativity in new directions?