David McKee

This article is from 2010.

David McKee

Discussing the inner monster

‘They’re like my children,’ smiles David McKee, the creator of such long-adored characters as Mr Benn, King Rollo and Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. ‘You love them equally and they all demand attention at different times.’ The legendary storyteller and illustrator now calls the south of France home, but he is looking forward to his Edinburgh visit, despite admitting to a lack of preparation. ‘I really enjoy these events because I do so few of them,’ he says. ‘A lot of it revolves around the kind of questions people ask and thankfully I’ve been around so long that even if I haven’t prepared anything, I can come up with something because really what we’re talking about is my life. In fact I always say I don’t have a job, I have a way of life.’

His two appearances feature a live drawing class for children and a masterclass for adults, giving a well-rounded insight into his career, which has been hugely appreciated by young and old over the years. ‘It’s funny, but a lot of adults just don’t get the meanings in my work,’ says McKee. ‘One of my grandson’s favourite books at the moment happens to be Not Now, Bernard and he said to his dad the other day, “the monster is Bernard really, isn’t it?” And I thought, it’s amazing; he’s three years old and he understands so much more about the monster within us than many adults can even comprehend.’

22 Aug, 2pm, £4; 5.30pm, £10 (£8).

David McKee

Learn from one of the giants of the picture book world, author and illustrator David McKee whose body of work spans five decades and includes children’s classics such as Elmer, Mr Benn and Not Now, Bernard. Join him for this rare, one-off masterclass.


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