A quick Q&A with illustrator Axel Scheffler

The Train Mouse by Uwe Timm illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Book cover and illustrator photo.


This month our Parakeet subscribers are heading off on a railway adventure across Europe with The Train Mouse. Originally published in German, The Train Mouse was recently published in English for the first time, illustrated by superstar illustrator Axel Scheffler, whose trademark illustrations made the book totally irresistible for us! We’re thrilled that Axel was able to answer a few quick questions for us to mark the book’s appearance in our subscription boxes.

Were you already familiar with the story of The Train Mouse before you illustrated it?

I didn't know the book, but I had met Uwe Timm on a trip to the book fair in Taipei and had already illustrated one of his books.

Do you have a favourite place to draw?

I usually draw at my (very messy) desk in my studio under the roof of our house.

Why did you choose to create books for children?

For me, creating books for children is the most rewarding thing I can do. I'm lucky that children seem to like my drawings.

What was your favourite book as a child?

The Petzi series [by Carla Hansen], stories about the adventures of a bear (Danish) and his friends (a pelican, a penguin and a seal). As I grew up in Germany, the books might not be known in the UK.

What other German books or children’s authors would you recommend we read next?

One German book (which has been translated) I really liked lately is Meet Me at the Ark at Eight! by Ulrich Hub, illustrated by Jörg Mühle. 

If you could jump on a train right now, where would it take you?

Back into the European Union!


Axel Scheffler photo © Liam Jackson

** This post contains affiliate links to our Bookshop.org page, meaning we receive a small percentage of the sale should you purchase through them. Additionally, a percentage from all sales on the platform goes directly to local UK bookshops which is an initiative we're delighted to support!


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