Yasmeen Ismail

Yasmeen Ismail - InterviewYasmeen Ismail’s illustrations really are just wonderful. In its year of publication Time for Bed, Fred! hit more than one award list .. it really is pretty good!

To celebrate the official publication date of Specs for Rex I was honoured that Yasmeen agreed to pop into My Book Corner.

What makes you happy?

Feeling full and rested. Cups of tea and yoga. Feeling calm and looking forward to the future. Planning things.

What inspired the creation of Specs for Rex?

This came from personal experience. When I was seven I had to go into school with my new glasses and I was terrified of the potential ridicule. Upon arriving, however, no one batted an eyelid.

Where is your favourite place to create picture books?

Well there is only one place where I do this, my office. I share with 9 other people and I have a large desk. I am surrounded by books and paints and paper. My desk is a bit of a mess, but I know where everything is.

What’s the best thing about being a published author & illustrator?

The best thing is the people that I work with. Children’s Publishing is a wonderful industry. Everyone is very positive and kind. They like to work as a team and are never mean or nasty.

What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?

I get asked if I have a dog a lot (because of Time for Bed, Fred!), which I don’t, and this answer always receives a disappointed response. Most of the time I get told about dead pets.

What is on your TBR pile?

Right now it’s “The Luminaries”. I want to read it but it’s so HUGE that I can’t bring myself to lug it around everywhere with me.

What is your worst habit?

Picking my nose.

Your favourite word(s) and why?

I think ‘Banana’ is a pretty good word. It sounds funny.

Did we forget anything?

I don’t have a cat either.

Just for fun

Tea or coffee?

I know this is just for fun, but I take this very seriously. I am not sure I would survive very well without either. Coffee and tea are my heroes.

Paper books or e-books?

I have an ebook reader, but have recently ditched it for paper. It was an expensive experiment.

Vegemite or Marmite?

Neither. Never had it in Ireland, but I came to the UK 11 years ago and tried it. Not for me I’m afraid.

Write or type?

This depends. I enjoy writing but, I can touch type so it feels faster. Typing, but only for work.

Poetry or prose?

To read? Prose. I love a short story.

Beach or bush?


Hot or cold?


Thanks Yasmeen!

Time for Bed Fred

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