"More and more, I'm being informed by television--animation---and children's books, both of which are sort of in my blood" says Scott Nash. "That's what my childhood was about." Inspired by everything from Uncle Wiggly and Raggedy Ann and Andy books to UNDERDOG cartoons and graphic novels, the celebrated illustrator recently made his authorial debut with TUFF FLUFF, a tongue-in-cheek mystery set in the shadowy corners of a toy-filled attic.
The vibrantly retro flair, humorous visual details, and pun-filled prose of TUFF FLUFF will have readers hot on the trail of a loveable, long-eared sleuth and his curious crew of discarded toys as they piece together a most peculiar puzzle. "I was aiming to create the sort of fantastic dramas that kids might play out with a cast of stuffed animals and action figures," Scott Nash explains. TUFF FLUFF is set "around the streets of Los Attic, a city that feels a little like Los Angeles stuck in a 1940s detective movies," adds the author-illustrator. "The cast of misfit toys created delightful opportunities for parodying the dialogue and style of classic film noir."
With TUFF FLUFF Scott Nash introduces writing to his repertoire, but he's no stranger the world of children's books. He's designed and illustrated more than twenty picture books to date, including the Brand New Readers MONKEY BUSINESS and MONKEY TROUBLE, both by David Martin. He says he found a special spark in his collaborations with Carol Diggory Shields, even though the two live on opposite coasts and have met only twice. "We must have been raised similarly or something, because we seem to have the same reference points," the illustrator notes.
After teaming up on MARTIAN ROCK and SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE DINOSAUR STOMP, author and artist discovered they had a favorite song in common, which led to their third book together. "There's a great old song by Burl Ives called 'The Ugly Bug Ball,' " Scott Nash explains. "Carol knew it, and I knew it, and that's how THE BUGLIEST BUG happened." Influenced by old cartoons and vintage picture books, the brilliant artwork in THE BUGLIEST BUG buzzes with exuberance, even if the illustrator admits to taking "huge liberties" with the bugs' physiology. "I decided they didn't really need to have six legs in every case," he says. "But I'm absolutely expecting to get trouble from kids about it."
Scott Nash is the cofounder of Big Blue Dot, a design studio that specializes in children's media. A native of Cape Cod, he now lives with his wife on an island off the coast of Maine.