Tom JellettThis is my interview with Tom Jellett.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I’m pretty sure it was either an astronaut on the space shuttle or an illustrator . . . I think illustrator won out as they don’t ask you to do much drawing on the space shuttle.

What influenced you to start illustrating? I always enjoyed drawing, and my mum worked at a children’s book publisher, so once I realised you could do drawing as a job, it became less important to try and become a space shuttle astronaut.

What other jobs have you had? As well as books, I also worked for a newspaper for a number of years.

What was the best thing about illustrating this book? As well as having a laugh with Katrina’s text on every page, there is also the slightly unsettling feeling that I have told a lot of these jokes to my children also . .

What’s the hardest part of your job? Deciding what colour hair characters will have. I’m not very good at brown, so more often than not people end up with orange or yellow hair because it’s more colourful. Unless it’s an old lady, or a punk, then you can do blue hair . . .

What was your last great belly-laugh? Hearing the ‘Frog in a Bank’ joke.—frog-in-a-bank/5174280

What traditions from your childhood do you continue? Vegemite sandwiches.

What is something that most people might be surprised to know about you? I can’t draw horses’ feet.

What else would you like to illustrate a book about? Something about space and rockets would be great.

What are you working on next? A few things . . .there is a book about a whale, and then there is another thing with a horse in it . . .so I’m practising drawing horses’ feet . . .

Read my review of ‘My Dad Still Thinks He’s Funny’ here.

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