Elys Dolan

Doctoral Researcher

Centre for Children's Book Studies

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Illustration, drawing and book art

Courses taught: Children's Book Illustration

Elys is an author and illustrator with particular interest in humour in picturebooks.

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Elys graduated from the MA Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin in 2011 and has worked as an author and illustrator of children’s books ever since. After a couple of years establishing a career in children’s publishing, Elys found that she had questions about the process of creating picturebook, particularly funny ones, and felt the urge to write really long essays again so embarked on a PhD at Anglia Ruskin exploring humour in picturebooks.

Elys’ children’s books have been published internationally and recognised in such awards as the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and the Zena Sutherland Award for Children’s Literature.

Research interests

The aim of Elys’ research is to explore humour within picturebooks through practice-led research. This involves not only exploring what kind of humour is found within picturebooks and an external examination of the mechanics that bring it about but also to gain insight into how it emerges throughout the creative process.

This is set within the context of creating humorous picturebooks professionally and explores the maker/publisher relationship and issues arising from this such as age appropriateness, cultural issues etc. The way in which the findings are presented are also of concern and Elys is currently utilising methods found in picturebooks to explain and demonstrate her observations.

Selected recent publications

Dolan, E., 2015. The Mystery of The Haunted Farm. London: Nosy Crow

Dolan, E., 2016. Steven Seagull Action Hero. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Dolan, E., 2016. The Doughnut of Doom. London: Nosy Crow

Dolan, E., 2017. Mr Bunny’s Chocolate Factory. Oxford: Oxford University Press