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Scoular Anderson

As a child

I began writing and illustrating books at the age of seven. I used to lie on the floor all day, with the right equipment: sharp pencil, coloured crayons, and grey covered sketchbooks bought with pocket money from the Miss McArthur’s corner shop. I wrote poems and plays, and drew strip cartoons, and stapled them into books. My parents had to read them, or else. I liked to play in our big wild garden, or on the beach. My base on the beach was three huge rocks, which I called my castle. In the garden, I built a very posh hut at the furthest end, under an apple tree. I was a very outdoorsy sort of child.

As an adult

I went off to art school to splosh paint and clay around. Then I went to live in London and work for London University, drawing little graphs, charts and cartoons. I went back to Scotland to teach art in secondary school, and learned to cope with all sorts of challenges: how to stop kids stuffing paint brushes down the sink; how to stop them cutting off fingers with lino-cutting tools, etc. I went back to my home town to write and illustrate books in a house by the sea.

As an artist

Ever since I stapled my first book together at the age of seven, I’ve wanted to write and illustrate books. As a child, I liked to create things that were funny – often, I rolled about with helpless laughter at something I had drawn. I still like being funny, most of the time. I’ve written over seventy books (I hope to make a hundred before I call it a day) and illustrated about the same number by other authors.

Things you didn't know about Scoular Anderson

  1. I’m 6 feet 1 inch high or 182.88 cm – or 10½ pencil lengths (unchewed).
  2. I have very big feet and go to France to buy shoes (they have big feet there).
  3. I’ve never met anyone who has a first name like mine.
  4. Each year, in March, I wait eagerly for frogs and tadpoles to arrive in my pond.
  5. Favourite colour: blue (all my shirts are blue).
  6. Favourite sound: bird song.
  7. Favourite shape: Scottish mountains.
  8. Favourite taste: persimmons – the only square fruit in the world.
  9. I once knew a snake called Frank.
  10. I go through twenty pencils a year (unchewed).

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