Guest post: Carolina Rabei


Children’s book illustrator Carolina Rabei will be creating an exclusive piece of artwork on the windows of our Little London Street entrance to celebrate Independent Bookshop Week. We grab five minutes with her and discover an artist who loves embracing a challenge to bring a smile to people’s faces.

You have always enjoyed drawing, ever since you were a child – can you remember one of the first things you ever drew?

I remember once drawing a girl with very long earrings that touched the ground and my family just loved it. And I do remember well that some of my first drawings were drawn on the walls of my home, and in my brothers school books!


After graduating with a distinction at the Cambridge School of Art in 2015, what made you move into children’s book illustration?

I think the joy that illustrations brought me when looking at them definitely had an impact on me.

I also remember discovering Martin's Salisbury's book 'Illustrating Children's Books' as a student, and the moment when I learned about his course at Cambridge School of Art – it made me choose this path in my career.

Your first picture book, Snow, was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal – what did it feel like to have your debut book receive such critical acclaim?

It's like being nominated for Oscars or BAFTA for a movie maker, so it's a great feeling indeed.

Every nice review and article about my work encourages me to work harder. And sometimes just listening impressions from young readers about my work is so pleasing!


Your most recent book – Silver is available now – what’s this about?

Yes, Silver has been out since April and it's the final picturebook in the seasonal quartet by Walter de la Mare. It illustrates the Moon's journey through the night joined by Elves, Fairies, Woodland animals and two curious children! What I enjoyed most about this book was creating the Moon character as an unusual Cat creature!

How would you describe the style of your illustrations?

My artwork resembles printmaking techniques, like screen printing or lino-cut, but I will confess it's created with a computer. I remember in a review someone mentioned that my colour palette always brings a warmth feel to the viewer, even in Snow.

Designing an illustration for one of our windows is quite a unique project – have you had your illustrations in shop windows before?

When Silver was out in April I had the great pleasure of decorating two windows in London, one for Tales on Moon Lane and one for Nomad Books. But for both displays I used cut out characters that I printed on foam-boards.

What I plan to do for Jarrold on this occasion is something new to me – drawing directly on the glass. It is a very exciting project indeed!

What can we expect to see in your design here at Jarrold?

I will engage a few of my book characters in this artwork and express the magic that children's Books can bring to their readers. I hope this will bring a smile to the shoppers!

You can watch Carolina create her window illustration on Monday 19th June at our Little London Street entrance. The work will remain there throughout Independent Bookshop Week (24th June - 1st July).

Carolina's newest book, Silver, and her other books in the Walter de la Mare series are available in-store from our book department.


Shop all young children's books

Back to top