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Angel Pavement

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Zagazoo
Quentin Blake Artist
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Another book is called Zagazoo, which is about children… the stages which children go through, or which boys at least go through, growing up, and I think… I… I mean if I'd had any children and had children growing up, I would have known too much about it to be able to do it. But because I hadn't, and had only seen these things from afar, I could simplify it so that the… that the little boy grows up and turns into one kind of monster or another, as… as he goes through the different stages. But when he becomes a teenager, he's at his most monstrous. And that is… again the… The Green Ship is as kind of book that… they could… it could be real, it's the drawings of reality. The imagination is laid onto it, and you bring the imagination in, in a sense, by the way you crop the pictures, or you have a picture, which makes the ship look as though it's moving, although it isn't, by… by you, by moving the frame across it. The… in… in Zagazoo you know it is never real life. It's a drawing, it only exists on the page, there are no backgrounds. It just exists as drawings, and you know that it's not… it is never real, and when the… the child is not born, it arrives in a parcel. It originally arrived in a brown paper parcel, but I realised that that wasn't interesting enough, and in fact it arrives now in a sort of… parcel which has got crazy zigzag paper round it, which I did originally really just to sort of brighten up the page, but it… it actually helps the message, because it… it adds to this feeling that it in fact is not true. And those I think… again I wondered whether, you know, one or two people said, oh, of course it's for adults really, that kind of thing. But… and I… I remember meeting a… maybe I'm optimistic, but I… I met a… a couple… I mean, some friends who have a little boy who's about five or something and… and I said [sic], some people said it's really for adults. They said, ‘He got it immediately’. Well I don't know that everybody gets it immediately, but I mean it’s… it's possible anyway. They seem to… people seem to go on looking at it.

Quentin Blake, well loved British writer and illustrator, is perhaps best known for bringing Roald Dahl's characters to life with his vibrant illustrations, and for becoming the first ever UK Children's Laureate. He has also written and illustrated his own books including Mr Magnolia which won the Kate Greenaway Medal.

Listeners: Ghislaine Kenyon

Ghislaine Kenyon is a freelance arts education consultant. She previously worked in gallery education including as Head of Learning at the Joint Education Department at Somerset House and Deputy Head of Education at the National Gallery’s Education Department. As well as directing the programme for schools there, she curated exhibitions such as the highly successful Tell Me a Picture with Quentin Blake, with whom she also co-curated an exhibition at the Petit Palais in Paris in 2005. At the National Gallery she was responsible for many initiatives such as Take Art, a programme working with 14 London hospitals, and the national Take One Picture scheme with primary schools. She has also put on several series of exhibition-related concerts. Ghislaine writes, broadcasts and lectures on the arts, arts education and the movement for arts in health. She is also a Board Member of the Museum of Illustration, the Handel House Museum and the Britten-Pears Foundation.

Tags: Zagazoo, The Green Ship

Duration: 2 minutes, 39 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2006

Date story went live: 24 January 2008