We all have a favourite children’s book we remember from those early years. In my case it was a toss-up between Peter Rabbit and Miffy, with Dick Bruna’s disarmingly simple creation winning by a (twitching) nose. But if I’d seen Chris Haughton’s picture books back in the 60s I think those iconic bunnies might have had a run for their money. Originally from near Dalkey, in County Dublin, the London-based author and illustrator of A Bit Lost has a new book out next month about a chaotic canine.
I met Chris last month at London’s V&A Museum of Childhood (not the Capital’s quietest venue!) to talk about Oh No, George!. Two and a half hours later I realised that I had enough material for several blog posts. I thought about the best way to sum up the many sides of Chris and decided that an alphabetical approach might work.
Amazing is one of Chris Haughton’s favourite words. It appears many times in the transcript of our interview.
Borim Press is the Korean publisher of A Bit Lost.
Candlewick Press in Massachusetts is the US publisher of Chris’s books.
Digital Handmade was the solo exhibition Chris held in London in December 2011 to showcase his range of handmade products from Nepal.
Epictetus the Greek philosopher is quoted at the front of Oh No, George!
Fair Trade: something Chris believes in.
Gibson Hotel, Dublin commissioned Chris to produce some rock ‘n’ roll themed murals in 2011.
Harris is the (tidy) sidekick of messy dog George in Oh No, George!
“I just like doing the drawings!”
Jesus, Guatemala City: the name on Chris’s badge when he worked in a San Francisco diner.
Kathmandu, capital of Nepal “the most beautiful country in the world”.
London, Chris’s home base.
Mahaguthi, the Fair Trade group established by Tulsi Mehar in 1923, makes the owl toy from A Bit Lost.
Node was set up to bring together Nepalese carpet-making skills and the best of modern design.
Owls sometimes get A Bit Lost.
People Tree. Chris has worked with this Fair Trade clothing and accessory company for several years.
Q + A. You can read my Huffington Post interview with Chris here.
Rugs. See Node, above.
Sugru, the air-curing rubber that Chris uses to protect the corners of his iPhone . . .
Typefaces — why use an existing one when you can come up with your own? Chris devised “A Bit Lost” for his books, with help from Andreas Pohancenik.
Un Peu Perdu or even Un Poco Perdido — the French and Spanish titles for A Bit Lost.
vegetablefriedrice.com, Chris’s website.
Walker Books, publisher of A Bit Lost and Oh No, George!.
“It was a bit of an experiment.” Chris’s comment on his typeface.
Yellow Umbrella the Borim Press book by Liu Jae-Soo that inspired Chris.
Z, the letter Chris illustrated for The Small Print’s Illustrated Alphabet project.
Read more about Chris on his blog.
Chris Haughton books
A Bit Lost
Oh No, George!
Shh! We Have a Plan
February 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm
February 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm
Susannah – I hope this is the start of a series of A-Z interviews of children’s book illustrators!
February 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm
Good idea. Send me your suggestions!