When I’m creating children’s books I am reminded of one of Roald Dahl’s classics: George’s Marvellous Medicine. I like to throw in all the things my children enjoy and hope that the end result is a fun and enjoyable potion, full of discovery and colour.
For Seedlings, aside from the things my children enjoy, (oh gosh, I hope the humour translates to the page well - they’ll definitely tell me if it doesn’t!) I also wanted to pay homage to my own influences and loves.
In terms of literature, amongst others this included: the worlds of Italo Calvino, the surrealist works of Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo and one of my absolute favourite new finds from this year, Popisho by Leone Ross.
Music also continues to have a major influence on me. I grew up on Garage and Grime, so to see how far the black music scene has come in this country fills me with pride. I believe rappers like Unknown T, KO and Teeway (to name a few) are on the very cutting edge of poetic expression with their thick lyricism, awash with hyper-simile and metaphor.
Stories and realities that would otherwise remain hidden and untold are my passion, and I truly hope I have succeeded in making this tangible in the pages of Seedlings. - Curtis Ackie