An Interview With Laura Dockrill, Author Of Angry Cookie
The book centres around an adorable - yet angry - little cookie with scruffy red hair and dungarees to die for. We don’t want to spoil the story for you, but let’s just say Angry Cookie wakes up on the wrong side of the bed one morning before embarking on a journey both adults and children are sure to love.
To celebrate Laura’s wonderful new book, we sat down with the author herself for a chat about everything from writing to... cookies.
What do you love about writing children's books?
I love creating new worlds for children and adults to enjoy, living inside my imagination and conjuring up fun characters. There is such freedom when writing for children. It’s like living in a playground.
Where did the inspiration behind this book come from?
I wanted to write a story for little ones about friendship and reassurance. I liked the idea of choosing a character that lived their life having the misinterpreted association of being upbeat and happy. A sweet treat, like a cupcake or a muffin, seemed like something I could have fun with, but I love the idea of a cookie crumbling and falling apart. It gives depth to the character’s shiny exterior and actually, he's rather angry. The reader has a part to play - returning back to the cookie every night before bed, listening to his problems.
Do you think there'll be any further adventures for Angry Cookie ahead?
I hope so because I love his little bum in his dungarees!
He’s certainly the most stylish cookie we’ve ever seen! Why should parents read this to their children?
The book is here to teach us about empathy and compassion in a light hearted way. I wanted to encourage people to ask if their friends are okay, even if that means asking over and over again. This cookie lives in a sugary sweet world where everything is happy and sweet, yet he is angry and that's ok. We are allowed to be angry. It’s an important emotion. The book also gives you an excuse to eat loads of cookies!
That begs the question… what books inspired you as a child?
I was really inspired by anything by Roald Dahl, though I particularly loved The BFG. I just think he's the nicest character of all time and we can all learn from him. Life would be so much easier for The BFG if he just conformed and lived his life like Bone Cruncher, but he doesn't. He eats snozzcumbers and lives in fear, even though that means being isolated and different.
Jacqueline Wilson was another inspiration to me. I particularly loved The Illustrated Mum and Tracy Beaker.
I also loved Where The Wild Things Are, Greek mythology and gory stories! I was a big fan of Dracula, history books, and The Tudors. I just adored all the head chopping off and savageness!
Something that so many of those books have in common is great illustrations. What was it about Maria Karipidou's illustrations that made you realise she was perfect for Angry Cookie?
I ADORE Maria's illustrations. I love her detail. Angry Cookie's little bum cheeks popping out of his dungarees, the picture of him with his red clown nose on in the wardrobe, his books of shapes. I love Angry Cookies world, particularly the little ice creams and treats and their expressions. Maria has a real eye for humour yet she takes Angry Cookie’s world really seriously. I also just think her work is really beautiful and special. She's just really good.
What's your favourite cookie flavour?
Great choice! And what's your favourite beverage to enjoy with a plate of triple chocolate cookies?
A cup of strong tea.
Barbra brings a lot of music to the book - does music inspire your creativity?
Hahaha. Good! Yes, I love music, I feel like lyrics encouraged my love for language long before books did.
My parents raised me around lots of music. We would always have music on when I was growing up and we’d sing all the words to everything, no matter the genre.
My dad would always give us a backstory to the words and explain what they meant which gave us a deeper understanding and interest in lyrics. We saw them as poetry and how they came together with the music was an extension of that. I write all my work with rhythm and tone in mind because of that, I think.
Are there any other baked products that you'd consider writing about next?
Ooooooooo. Imagine a whole collection like the Mr Men books!
We’ll take that as an enthusiastic yes! Thanks for joining us, Laura, and best wishes with the book launch.