SevenStreets loves hearing about local success stories, and the latest one that pinged onto our radar comes in the form of Wirral-based author, modelmaker and illustrator Daisy Dawes. She was recently snapped up by Maverick Children’s Books to publish debut book Get Ahead Fred: a warmly funny insight into the mind of Fred Milliner, an eccentric hat collector who gets into a bit of bother when the Queen comes to visit.
What makes Get Ahead Fred feel fresh and exciting is its familiar retro vibe – having more in common with the likes of opposable charmers Bagpuss or The Clangers than any polished computer rendered characters. An accomplished creative, having worked on Pingu and Harry Potter, with Get Ahead Fred we think Daisy’s managed to produce something impressively, delightfully unique. We tracked her down for a bit of a chat.
What was it like publishing your first book? Was it as stressful as we always hear it is?
I love creating and making characters, as well as the worlds they live in. I’ve always enjoyed what I do so it wasn’t stressful at all – quite the opposite.
Children’s books like this often get made into TV shows or films. Is that something you’ve thought about?
A lot of my inspiration comes from TV programmes I enjoyed as a child, the likes of The Magic Roundabout, Bagpuss and Morph. Stop motion has magical appeal. It’s charming. I do appreciate the role of CGI, it can be an extremely effective storytelling medium, but I’m the first to admit I have one foot – some would say both feet – rooted firmly in the past when it comes to animation. I worked with animator Rob Birchall to create some short films for Fred (above and below). Fred loves the limelight, so I’m sure he’d be delighted to be on TV.
Get Ahead Fred, published by Maverick Children’s Books, is available in all good bookshops and online.