I've always loved film and theatre, and stories usually come to me visually, running like a movie in my head. The technical part of fitting them into a 32-page picture book is then the challenge. I think of the page as a sort of screen or stage, but there's also a gutter which runs down the middle of a book. In the first Alfie story he locked himself inside the house and the gutter became a section-view of the door. It's an old silent movie trick and the Marx brothers used it. You get two scenes, the anxious child one side and the anxious mother the other. They can't see each other but the reader sees both sides. Perfect for the story and for the form of a picture book. And enormously satisfying.

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