Lorraine Francis

Irish children’s author and librarian Lorraine Francis, winner of the prestigious Francis McManus Radio Short Story Award, is delighted that her tale of Sammy, a small boy with a huge appetite, is being published in New Zealand – and, for the first time, in her mother tongue.
 
Ireland is indebted to Francis for many classic children’s books, including Lulu’s Tutu, The Origami Bird, Pandora’s Lunchbox, Save Our Sweetshop, and The Great Trolley Race. These final two stories were inspired by her childhood in 1960s Ireland – being “free-range and out of the sight of adults”. Such freedom to be creative, she believes, is “an essential part of growing up.”
 
Francis’ career took an interesting turn when she started collaborating with award-winning Belgian illustrator, designer and author Pieter Gaudesaboos. Together they have produced six children’s books. “We both like the idea of combining the ordinary with the absurd or surreal, which I think works really well in picture books,” she says, and describes meeting Gaudesaboos as “a stroke of luck”.