Friday, June 30, 2017

North Melbourne Books July Newsletter - featuring Jarvis

In the July edition of the North Melbourne Books newsletter we talk to writer and illustrator Jarvis about his hilarious and utterly brilliant new picture book for children, Mrs Mole, I'm Home!.

It's the story of Morris Mole. He is tired from waiting tables at Gordon Ratzy's nightclub and so goes home. The only problem is he can't find his glasses. Never mind, Morris Mole thinks, he should know the way by now. And so off he burrows. "Mrs Mole, I'm home!" he cheerfully exclaims, but every time he always finds himself in the wrong home - with a family of rabbits, then owls, then penguins and finally crocodiles.

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North Melbourne Books talks to Jarvis 


North Melbourne Books:  Morris Mole is tired from working all day serving tables at Gordon Ratzy's nightclub. He now has to get home but can't find his glasses. Never mind, Morris Mole thinks, he should know the way by now. And so off he burrows. "Mrs Mole, I'm home!" he cheerfully exclaims, but every time he always finds himself in the wrong home - with a family of rabbits, then owls, then penguins and finally crocodiles. Will he ever get home and enjoy some worm soup? Where did you get the idea for the story?

Jarvis: As with most of my ideas I think of an image first. The image that popped in my head was a little mole popping out of the ground somewhere he shouldn’t be shouting ‘I’m home!’. It’s a very simple idea, but there was lots of room for humour!

NMB: Morris Mole is wonderfully cheerful and optimistic that he'll get home eventually. Is he based on anyone you know?

J: He is a trier! I hadn’t really based him on someone but my wife, Jenna, is always optimistic and cheerful ….and without her glasses is completely lost…hmm you’ve got me thinking now...

NMB: There's always so much humour in your picture books. There's some terrific gags in Mrs Mole, I'm Home! Are you the sort of person that likes to make jokes and have a laugh?

J: Unfortunately yes I’m one of those annoying people who tries to make jokes….ALL the time, but fortunately that helps when I do kids events and school visits!

NMB: Your illustrations are always wonderfully vibrant, colourful and happy. Who are the artists you draw inspiration from?

J: I love Miroslav Sasek, Quentin Blake, Ralph Steadman, Peter Blake, and lots of newer artists too….Marta Altes, Yasmeen Ismail and Keith Negley. All these people have colourful work that jumps out at you, and they all feel honest and handmade. Im just more comfortable with bright colours!

NMB:  What books are you enjoying reading at the moment?

J: Recent reads: John le Carre – The Spy Who Came in From the Cold; Ali Smith – There but for the; and I’m looking forward to starting Limmy – That’s Your Lot.

I’m always nosey when it comes to picture books, and although I don’t have kids I do buy a picture book now and again…NO! by Marta Altes is one I pick up again and again.

Mrs Mole, I'm Home!
by Jarvis. Published by Walker Books. RRP: $16.99