In the end there was no 90-year-old fiddle-maker in the audience. But Debi Gliori had me, and that was embarrassment enough for one day.
Dragon Loves Penguin is one of my most favourite of Debi’s books. Not so much because I love dragons (certainly not with the passion Debi reserves for them), but because I love mummies who love their babies. It might sound boringly traditional – not to mention obvious – but it needs to be said. ‘Love and time, the greatest gifts of all.’
After explaining how she came to write – and draw – Dragon Loves Penguin, Debi read the whole book to us. Not just a bit, but the lot. It can still make me cry.
Debi started off by drawing us an egg. Come to think of it, she ended by drawing us an egg. Too.
Her life long ambition has been to put penguins and dragons in one book, and she showed us her older books The Trouble With Dragons, and Penguin Post, about a daddy penguin who attempts to hatch a parcel. (You can’t.)
This was a great event. Sometimes a young audience can be too young, but here they were just right, and what amazing questions they asked!
How do dragons fly? Well, it helps if Debi has remembered to draw wings (she has been known to forget). But it’s probably by magic.
How did the egg end up on the ice? Yes, how? The baby penguin (in the egg) will freeze to death if left unattended for more than two minutes, so we decided that dragon had been very fast, because ‘a page is a long time.’
What does a dragon’s egg look like? Lovely, is the answer. And orangey, but with some magenta in it. And did you know that charcoal is merely a burnt stick?
Debi mentioned my old favourite Ffup, who makes toast by breathing on bread. It strikes me as most efficient. I’d like to do that, too.
(As you can see, Debi spent a lot of time actually talking to fans. I think this was about school.)