As part of the Blog Tour to promote the first two Belle and Boo Activity Books (reviewed here), we were given the chance to interview Mandy Sutcliffe. I asked our lovely local school if they’d ask the children for any questions and the KS1 class (5, 6 & 7 year olds) came up with the following:
Children: How many books are there about Belle and Boo?
Mandy: There are 3 books currently in print ‘Belle & Boo and the Birthday Surprise’ ‘Goodnight Kiss’ and ‘Yummy Scrummy Day’ and a Christmas book out this September
Children: Is there a reason that both names begin with B?
Mandy: As soon as I first drew the pair I knew their names were Belle & Boo, it was just a lovely coincidence that they began with the same letter.
Children: Are they based on a real child and a real toy?
Mandy: Belle is based a little bit on me as a child, I had the same hair style, mind you my mum based my hair on my favourite story book character Milly-Molly-Mandy, so there is that influence also. I had a pet rabbit when I was a child although he was pure white and called chalky.
Children: What makes them best friends?
Mandy: Because they do everything together, because Belle looks after Boo and Boo makes Belle laugh a lot.
Children: Why isn’t there any other characters in the story? [They were read “The Goodnight Kiss” only]
Mandy: The only other characters that feature so far are the other toys, Snuffly Elephant, Raggedy Doll, & Yellow Duck.
Children: What else do they like doing together?
Mandy: They love to climb trees, kick leaves, bake cakes (especially carrot cake), draw, paint and sing.
Children: Who else lives in the house?
Mandy: The other toys & a few mice.
Children: How long does it take to illustrate a Belle and Boo book?
Mandy: Approximately 3 months, some spreads are super quick to draw and others can take a little bit too long, when that happens I try to leave the one I am struggling with and work on another and then come back to the troublesome one, that usually works.
Children: Does Belle have any other favourite toys?
Mandy: Yes she loves all her toys but Boo is definitely her absolute favourite.
Thank-you so much Mandy for answering our questions; lovely Sarah from Hachette for organising everything; and of course the staff and children at our local school for the questions.
We also have part four of the exclusive blog tour downloads, click on the image below to collect the hangers for your wardrobe.
Collect the rest of the exclusive downloads by visiting the blogs below:
Colouring-in Dress-up Belle from Read It, Daddy
Belle’s Summer Outfits from StorySeekers
Belle’s Wardrobe from Book Sniffer
Belle’s Winter Outfits from Library Mice