Book People: David Mackintosh
I have loved the work of David Mackintosh for the longest time and I am so excited to be featuring him here today – I rather loved what he said about his ‘typical day’ (see below). His books have everything I love in a picture book: they are quirky; art filled; encourage visual literacy; appeal to children and adults on different levels; are laugh out loud funny; are filled with slightly ‘left of normal’ characters and have beautiful layouts and production quality. They tick every box for me and I’m yet to find one that children don’t love as much as I do. Of course as a teacher librarian my favourite is probably ‘Prue Theroux the Cool Librarian’ (for obvious reasons) and my niece was Prue at her Book Week parade (see here).
And so we come to his latest book, ‘Lucky’, which has just been published by Harper Collins, and is without a doubt the most read book in our house over the last fortnight. ‘Lucky’ is the story of two brothers who let their imagination run wild – as it should when you are young!We’re have a surprise at dinner tonight… but what could it BE? When Mum announces that we’re having a surprise at dinner tonight, my brother Leo and I can’t help but wonder… What could it BE? Mum says we’ll have to wait and see, but Leo and I have some ideas of our own…
My husband has been repeating lines from this book and he rather loved the goofy dad. The three year old has been saying ‘ohhhhhhhhhh. I’m lucky’ about everything and the six year old has been laughing and laughing at the hilarious/odd happenings at the school featured in the book. Me? Well I’ve read it ‘Lucky’ to every single class from Kindy to Year Six and they have loved it on so many different levels. It has well and truly made it to my ‘sure to be shortlisted in 2015’ list. It should also be noted that David is clearly a trendspotter…did he know that pineapples and flamingoes would be splashed across clothing, teatowels, cushions, lamps, canvas art and sculptures in 2014?? So very on trend Mr Mackintosh…those who style their homes could have this as a coffee table book.
‘Lucky’ is an exemplary example of a contemporary picture book. It is innovative and sophisticated whilst still having major child appeal and a good dose of humour. The mixed media illustrations, use of varying fonts and incredible attention to the overall design ensure ‘Lucky’ packs a strong literary punch.
Click on title or image links to add these books to your home, school or library collections.
There is a beautifully bizarre book trailer for ‘Lucky’.
Ten Things You Need to Know About David Mackintosh
1. Tell us about your latest book.
My new book is called LUCKY and is about being fortunate, or at least thinking that you are fortunate. Leo’s brother is anticipating a big surprise all day long and his imagination bigs it up to the point it becomes something it isn’t. But that feeling of anticipation can’t be underestimated. The book features a pineapple and a noisy radio.
2. How did you get started as a writer?
I illustrated several picture books for other authors which I really enjoy doing. It’s exciting to realise another person’s story in your own way. I had numerous book ideas lying around and showed them to a publisher who decided to go with them. Writing is easy, it’s knowing what to leave out that’s the hard part.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
It starts with a bike ride, ends with thinking about what I should have done that day. And in between I draw and paint and work on the computer a bit too.
4. Can you describe your workspace for us?
I work in my front room that has two desks, a big window and a sofa. There’s a phone on a long cord (I hate cordless phones). My main desk is on castors so I can move it around to suit what I’m doing, and to follow the light from the window. There’s a table with heaps of pens and pencils on it too.
5. Any words of advice for young readers and writers?
Read a lot because it helps you to write. I like learning how other people write, and you do that by reading books. Writing isn’t difficult, you just have to sit and do it to see what you can do. Try, then try some more, and the more you do the better you’ll get at it. You just have to write in your own way, and only you can do that. I am a completely unlicensed writer.
6. Do you have a favourite book or character (your own or somebody else’s)?
Perhaps it’s Grimble, by Clement Freud. But there are so many books and characters I remember. I love the Addams Family by Charles Addams, and Maxwell Smart too.
7. If you were not a creator of books for young people what would you be?
Maybe a longshoreman, or something to do with eating. Or something near the sea.
8. What is your favourite food to eat and/or your favourite music to listen to whilst you are working on your books?
I listen to old radio serials from the forties and fifties, or sometimes I listen to music that is loud and noisy. It depends on what I’m working on at the time. At the moment it’s fIREHOSE. I like salty food mostly.
9. How much of yourself or people you know is in your books?
Well, I’d say that there’s a lot of both, but not specifically. It’s inevitable I’m influenced by my environment, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that that environment makes the best stories. Sometimes you just have to make stuff up.
10. If you could have one wish for the world what would it be?
Love thy neighbour.
A selection of his available books are below. Click on images to purchase.
Sadly ‘Rex’ seems out of print just at the minute.