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Celebrated children's illustrator brightens up nursery with vibrant mural

PUBLISHED: 14:51 12 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:05 12 June 2019

Children's author and illustrator Polly Dunbar has created a vibrant mural at Big Sky Nursery in Beccles. Picture: Julian Claxton

Children's author and illustrator Polly Dunbar has created a vibrant mural at Big Sky Nursery in Beccles. Picture: Julian Claxton

Copyright (c) Julian Claxton Photography 2019

A nursery has been given a bright new look thanks to the artistic talents of a well-known author and illustrator.

Children's author and illustrator Polly Dunbar has created a vibrant mural at Big Sky Nursery in Beccles. Picture: Julian ClaxtonChildren's author and illustrator Polly Dunbar has created a vibrant mural at Big Sky Nursery in Beccles. Picture: Julian Claxton

Polly Dunbar, whose son Cody attends Big Sky Nursery in Beccles, was asked whether she would be interested in turning a large wall space into something fun for the children to enjoy.

The 39-year-old, who is famous for children's books including 'Flyaway Katie', 'Penguin' and 'Tilly and Friends', jumped at the chance to design a vibrant mural at the Station Road nursery.

"I was told to 'go wild' and I thought 'that's a good brief,'" said Ms Dunbar. "When I'm working on a children's book I have to stick to certain boundaries, so to be told I can do whatever I want was too appealing to turn down.

"I thought about the name Big Sky and I had all this space so I drew birds. The birds are all looking towards the bird who is taking flight and focusing on that moment.

Children's author and illustrator Polly Dunbar has created a vibrant mural at Big Sky Nursery in Beccles. Picture: Julian ClaxtonChildren's author and illustrator Polly Dunbar has created a vibrant mural at Big Sky Nursery in Beccles. Picture: Julian Claxton

"What was in my mind was how the nursery children are finding their wings and learning to fly. I just had fun with that idea."

Ms Dunbar managed to fit painting the mural into her busy schedule, which currently includes illustrating a new picture book by Michael Morpurgo and a book of poetry by Raymond Antrobus.

As she also juggles writing her own books, the challenge of creating a mural was something completely new.

"It was great having the chance to use your whole arm and body to make a picture, rather than sitting at a computer," she said. "It was lovely to hear the happy murmur of the children playing while I painted.

Children's author and illustrator Polly Dunbar has created a vibrant mural at Big Sky Nursery in Beccles. Picture: Julian ClaxtonChildren's author and illustrator Polly Dunbar has created a vibrant mural at Big Sky Nursery in Beccles. Picture: Julian Claxton

"The nursery looked after Cody while I was doing it so I had a couple of hours a day and chipped away at it. All the parents, children and nursery staff kept coming to see how I was getting on and were very supportive."

Nursery manager Stephanie Galer added: "Everyone has been so excited watching Polly create this amazing design. It's really brightened up the building and the children love it.

"We're so lucky and grateful to Polly for all the time and effort she has put into making something really special for us."

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