My Nanna is a Ninja (UQP) is about all sorts of nannas. There are nannas who fly planes, scuba dive, dig holes, fly away in hot air balloons… Then there is the best nanna of all: Ninja Nanna. She dresses in black, juggles ninja stars, sneaks around at night, somersaults through the air, eats with shiny swords. Who wouldn’t want a nanna like that?
This funny, rhyming picture book was written by Damon Young and I had the pleasure to illustrate it. As soon as I read the title, I knew I wanted to do it. It bashes down stereotypes of grandparents and celebrates nannas for what so many of them are: cool, smart, funny people who kiss you goodnight without you even knowing!
I loved having the chance to develop different nanna characters and drawing the ninja nanna was so much fun. I’m not much of a ninja expert so I spent a bit of time reading books about ninjas and looking at pictures of ninjas and their weaponry, and I developed the character from this research, while maintaining a little bit of traditional nanna-ness – knitting needles in the hair and purple slippers. And I just had to give her a ninja cat to keep her company.
Illustrations in watercolour and ink.