Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Knife & Packer

The third in a series of posts about popular children's authors and their books.

Knife & Packer are a writing and illustrating team whose names are really Duncan McCoshan (Knife) and Jem Packer.  Knife and Packer spent most of their childhood in London, where they still live today. As a child Knife loved to draw and Packer loved to read - enjoying everything from Dr Brainstorm to Willard Price and Asterix to Tintin.  They first met in 1993 and to begin with they did cartoons and cartoon strips for newspapers and magazines (in fact they still do!).  But Knife and Packer loved developing crazy characters, and children’s books were the perfect place to put them. Their first book was published in 2001 and was all about teachers, Teachers The Naked Truth.  Since then they have written and illustrated more than 20 books, including books about Fleabag Monkeyface, Zac Zoltan's Mad Monster Agency, Captain Fact and Freak Street.
Working as a team is quite unusual, as unless the author also illustrates their own books, authors and illustrators mostly work separately, with the illustrator brought in to provide pictures after the book has already been written. Knife and Packer develop all the characters, stories and designs together. They meet up every couple of days, but mostly email ideas and sketches backwards and forwards. They love meeting their readers and have done hundreds of events in schools, libraries, bookshops and festivals. They also enjoy seeing their books translated into lots of languages including Thai, Chinese, Portuguese and Korean.

We have copies of  Teachers The Naked Truth and the Freak Street series. Other books by Knife & Packer, including series about Fleabag Monkeyface, Zac Zoltan's Mad Monster Agency and Captain Fact are available at Upper Hutt Public Library.

The above information and more information about Knife & Packer and their books can be found here and here.

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