Clara Vulliamy: Hay Fever illustrator 2013

Clara Vulliamy: Hay Fever illustrator 2013

Everybody knows that Hay is the prettiest iced fancy on the top tier of the book festivals cake stand. I’ve been here many times with my family… we’ve had lollies and Pimms in the sunshine and sheltered under umbrellas in the rain; we’ve seen our tent slide downhill in the mud literally in front of our very eyes. But the thrill is always the same: the buzz, the happy chatter of writers and readers mingling comfortably together, the green hills up above, the sheer dizzy love affair with books.

Hay Fever – the programme of events for young people – goes from strength to strength and attracts the starriest line-ups. I was very chuffed indeed to be the official illustrator this year.

I’m bringing two workshop events to the Festival, to go with two different books: for Bubble & Squeak the children shall each make a Squeak puppet, and for I Heart Bedtime they will be making a mini-Martha-in-a-matchbox-bed.  I’m a huge believer in some hands-on crafty loveliness to enhance and extend the young readers’ joy in the story. And I love to draw for my audience too: there’s something magical and mesmerizing about it, yet such a simple thing to do.

So this week I am knee-deep in pink felt noses and wooly tails, tiny blankets and buttons and ribbon; I have bubble-stuff to blow and hundreds of Love Hearts to share, and I just cannot wait.