My favourite five: Laura Dockrill

Laura Dockrill is a woman of many talents.

The Londoner attended the prestigious Brit School before making her mark as a playwrite, performance poet and young adult author and illustrator.

Her debut children’s book Darcy Burdock was nominated for both the Waterstones Book of the Year Prize and the Carnegie Medal, as was her debut young adult book Lorali.

In 2018, she published her first picture book Angry Cookie, a quirky tale about turning your frown upside that starred a pink-haired biscuit with a recorder-playing cactus housemate called Barbra.

The story came out just as Laura was becoming a mum herself and experiencing a terrifying bout of post-partum psychosis. It was her best friend Adele (yes, that one!) who spotted all was not well and Laura’s account of her postnatal mental illness was the subject of a searingly honest memoir, What Have I Done? last year.

Her second picture book with Angry Cookie illustrator Maria Karipidou, The Lipstick, is out now and is another joyful and funny offering, which follows a toddler having his best day ever as he gets hold of mum’s special pink lipstick and runs riot around the house.

It’s a scenario that will be incredibly familiar to parents and given Laura’s penchant for a bright lip (you’ll know if you follow her on Instagram), I suspect a story inspired by true events.

To mark its publication, we asked Laura to share the children’s books and characters that have inspired her.

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

MY FAVOURITE CLASSIC PICTURE BOOK

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is a perfect read. It uses language so sparingly yet the reader feels as though they’ve embarked on some kind of massive adventure. The illustrations are beautiful too and it is a great champion of the imagination. Plus it has the best line in it ‘don’t go, I’ll eat you up I love you so.’ (£6.99, Red Fox. Buy from Amazon)

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

MY FAVOURITE RECENT READ

I love Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. It’s sophisticated, clever and funny. (£7.99, Walker. Buy from Amazon.) But also Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love is one of the most magical, liberating and celebratory books I’ve ever come across and it’s absolutely gorgeous! (£7.99, Walker. Buy from Amazon)

Marvin K Mooney Will You Please Go Now! by Dr Seuss

MY FAVOURITE CHILDREN’S AUTHOR

It’s always Roald Dahl but my son loves Dr Seuss, particularly Marvin K Mooney Will You Please Go Now! It’s so fun, playful and full of nonsense rhyme which is so enjoyable to read out loud and get kids into reading. (£5.99, HarperCollins. Buy from Amazon)

Love Loves Library Day, which is illustrated by Fiona Lumbers.

MY FAVOURITE CHILDREN’S ILLUSTRATOR

Fiona Lumbers – I love Luna Loves Library Day. (£6.99, Andersen. Buy from Amazon) Her illustrations are performed with such a lightness of hand. Just beautiful! And of course, Maria Karipidou who illustrated Angry Cookie! (£6.99, Walker. Buy from Amazon)

MY FAVOURITE CHILDREN’S CHARACTER

Bernard from Not Now Bernard! by David McKee. Who doesn’t love a giant purple monster charging around your house, smashing up your toys, eating your dinner and drinking down your milk? (£6.99, Andersen. Buy from Amazon)

The Lipstick by Laura Dockrill and Maria Karipidou is out now. £12.99 (hardback), Walker. Buy from Amazon

You may also like…
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love: our review
David McKee shares his favourite books and authors
Watch out chiddlers! Roald Dahl board books for babies are here

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