IBA Spotlight: Polly Faber :: NEWS
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IBA Spotlight: Polly Faber

04 November 2021 Share

Meet the author of 'Building a Home'

The SLA's Information Book Award (IBA) shortlist was announced earlier this year. On that list of incredible information books in the 0-7 age category we're thrilled to have Building a Home, by Polly Faber (illustrated by Klas Fahlén, published by Nosy Crow).

With strong and detailed images this book provides an extremely accessible look at the people and processes involved in the construction industry for a young audience. It brilliantly shows the wide range of roles required and the diversity of the people who undertake them, encouraging children to believe that they can take on any job.

We're delighted that Polly took part in a short Q&A to tell us more about creating this fascinating read.




What’s your favourite fact that you learnt from creating the book?

I loved finding out more about the life of a crane operator. Where I live in London is always busy with building work and I enjoy watching cranes move their loads; peering up to spot their tiny drivers high up in their cabs. I am scared of heights so their job is about the most bravest and most impossible for me that I can imagine. I’d always thought the tallest cranes would have a lift so that the driver could come and go but researching the book I found that is very much not the case. It takes 15 minutes or more to climb up the ladder of a tall crane to the cab at the beginning of each shift (all while it sways in the wind) and crane operators have to be careful to make sure they take everything they need for the day with them. They also have to make plans about how and when to go to the toilet of course...


What’s your favourite page of the book and why?

I love looking at all Klas’ illustrations of the vehicles. But I think my favourite page is the final spread showing the transformation of the building complete and spotting all the different families moving in. I’d like to live in an apartment there myself!


What is it about writing information books that you enjoy?

I never planned on writing information books, but as I’ve completed three now it seems I’m hooked! I particularly love using a narrative story structure to bring the real world alive for a young audience, with a satisfying arc for sharing at bedtime. To me there is absolutely no difference in magic between a tower crane and a dragon, or a container ship and a flying broomstick. Finding out about anything unfamiliar can give me goosebumps. And it’s simply a huge treat to be able to scratch my own itch of curiosity and then get to pass on the joy of my discoveries.


Building a Home is available here.


Polly Faber lives in London with her husband, sons, and two black and white cats called Alan and Babs. She worked as a midwife and a sandwich maker before becoming a writer, and has also mashed potatoes for Prince Edward’s dinner. Her best impression is of a tortoise eating a strawberry. Visit her website: www.pollyfaber.com


To download our FREE IBA resources, click here.

Don't forget, students can get involved in the award by voting to crown their favourite! The Children's Choice Award is now open, vote here before 12th November.

Wondering who will be crowned this year's IBA winners? Join us for the virtual ceremony - tickets are FREEBook your place here.