Chris Riddell illustrates… My poetry!

I’ve had such a lovely postal week. A couple of books here and there, some lovely fabric to make into a couple of dresses, and this highlight…

A hand-illustrated copy of She Will Soar from Chris Riddell!

“But how?! Why?!” I hear you cry. Well, it all began when Chris was tweeting his doodles on the pages of the book. I was lucky enough that he chose my poem to illustrate. And it was BEAUTIFUL.

She Will Soar from Pan Macmillan

Chris Riddell (OBE) is one of my absolute favourite illustrators. A previous UK Children’s Laureate, and winner of multiple awards, I probably first became aware of Chris’s work through his collaborations with Neil Gaiman. There’s always been something about Chris’s work that sucks you in. It’s scratchy, textured enough to touch – and yet utterly smooth and balanced. It’s the sort of artistry that reminds me why I love fantasy. It’s truly evocative, multi-layered, and full of movement – but always leaves you enough mental space to bring the characters to life – your way.

So naturally, I was THRILLED that Chris illustrated my poem – and told him so! And then, just a few weeks later, a brown envelope arrived on my doormat. My copy of She Will Soar – with a hand-illustrated cover, poem, and note from Chris. Even the envelope was illustrated!

Caroline Hardaker Poet

I mean, the kindness of the act! Isn’t it just a reminder of how wonderful it is to do kind things? How valuable our time is, and how many smiles we can bring to people – just by reaching out and offering up our time, our skills, or anything at all, just to make someone’s day?

Caroline Hardaker Poet
Caroline Hardaker poet 'The Girl Who Fell in Love with the Mountain'

You can find this poem in my first collection of poems, Bone Ovation, and of course more poems like this in my next collection, Little Quakes Every Day, which you can pre-order now.

*Shameless and slightly bashful book plug*

I’m so moved by Chris’s kind act, and am certainly inspired to spread the kindness somehow.

I’d really, really, recommend following him on Twitter. After all, who can say what he might doodle on next? 😉



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