The Imaginary Trifecta

I love celebrating books with the Nerdy Book Club and Colby Sharp. Today we're celebrating The Imaginary with A.F. Harrold and Emily Gravett. As always, I hope you have fun jumping from blog to blog.

I wrote the words in red, and Emily Gravett wrote the words in black.

A.F. Harrold and I never met before we started working on The Imaginary. I googled him and was so impressed with his ginger beard that I dyed my hair to match for our first meeting (My beard is never going to be as fabulous.)

I created the illustrations for The Imaginary after a lot of trial and error and bad language. I wanted them to have the feel of etchings, but I can’t etch and don’t have an etching press. I got around the problem with a black fine-liner and the assistance of Photoshop.

One of the most peaceful ways to start a productive day is a walk with my dog.

If you visited my studio you’d be able to pet my dog Edith who is asleep on a cushion. I won’t be joining you as I’m ignoring her.

When I was in primary school I thought I was a witch. I drew a clock that ticked when my mum stuck it up on the wall. I was also left handed and had green eyes. I thought this was proof. Then I found out that I couldn’t fly . . .

The Odd Egg, Monkey and Me, and Wolves are just three of the seventeen picture books I have written and illustrated (number may be incorrect-I DRAW not count) I intend each book I write to be my best. I have sleepless nights, moments of joy and many hours of head scratching.

By the time I finish I feel slightly disappointed in what I’ve produced. After a year or two those feelings mellow into fondness.

It’s the tenth anniversary of my first book ‘Wolves’ this year. It’s good to know that after ten years I actively LIKE the book (as long as I don’t look too closely)

I didn’t write The Imaginary, so it felt quite different. I wanted to do the book justice as it captured my imagination. I felt a little jealous that I hadn’t written it.

Reading is unimaginably indispensable.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what happened on this morning’s dog walk.

Thank you, Emily! I hope to meet you and your dog one day. :)

"It tells the story of Rudger, an imaginary friend, and Amanda, a real friend, and what happens when they get separated. It also stars an imaginary dog called Fridge, a real cat called Oven, some grownups, some weather and villain called Mr Bunting. It is illustrated by the amazing and prize-winning illustrator Emily Gravett who has made the book a very beautiful thing." -A.F. Harrold | Click here to read the full interview. 

"As I type this I’m sitting in my study, at the desk, tapping on the keys of my computer keyboard. To my right is a window that looks down into the garden. There’s a man stood up in next-door’s garden, on top of a sort of shed thing." -A.F. Harrold | Click here to read the full essay.

Borrow The Imaginary from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.


  1. Reading is most DEFinitely indispensable! :)


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