Yippee – it’s that time again! We’re launching our second design collab with Swedish illustrator and children’s author Sarah Sheppard. Here she tells us about her love of sharks and reveals her top pick from our new children’s collection (Psst! It’s got a pocket with room for shark teeth)!
Sarah Sheppard grew up in both Sollentuna in Sweden and the US city of Atlanta. She spent all her summer holidays in the US and even went to school there for a couple of years. “I think a lot of my fascination with nature comes from my time in Atlanta. I saw a more extreme version there than the one I was used to in Sweden. Atlanta can be extremely hot and humid, and sometimes we had to race down to the basement after a tornado warning, because it could lift the entire house.”
The sharp guests in the Sarah Sheppard collection come from Sarah’s wonderful Swedish children’s books about sharks, fish and other aquatic animals.
Always fascinated by sharks
Sarah has now collaborated on a new collection for Polarn O. Pyret, and this time the focus is on sharks and other aquatic animals. Sarah’s always been fascinated by sharks, but it was when she wrote her book “Viktigakartor” that she became really interested – though she has yet to come face to face with a shark.
“I’m more of a desk-bound explorer. For example, I know a lot about climbing treacherous mountains like K2 and Mount Everest, but I wouldn't survive for very long on a mountaintop.”
Met the mortal enemy of the great white shark on a dive
While Sarah may be more of a keyboard explorer, she has had one very exciting encounter in the water.
“I do have some diving experience! Not with sharks, but with the mortal enemy of the great white shark – the killer whale. Three friends and I were up in Northern Norway, where killer whales had gathered in a fjord outside Narvik. On one occasion when we were snorkelling in drysuits, a curious killer whale popped up to visit us where we lay floating in the Arctic Ocean. It slowly swam twice around us and investigated us thoroughly by sniffing our flippers. It seemed to be wondering what strange kind of creatures we were. It was an incredibly surreal experience. Killer whales are stunningly beautiful animals, but also extremely huge!”
The collection also includes some lovely swimwear.
“Never go into the water at dawn or dusk”
During a holiday in the US, Sarah (almost) met her first shark. She and her family were visiting her favourite beach, Siesta Key, in Florida. It was dusk and Sarah fell into conversation with a woman from the area. The woman looked out to sea and said: “Never go into the water at dawn or dusk, that’s when the sharks are out hunting. Look, there are some crazy people swimming!”
“Of course those ‘crazy people’ were MY children and I wasted no time in ordering them out of the water. Even though I’d grown up in this part of the world, I hadn’t known this important safety detail until now. This obviously happened before I started studying sharks.”
“Save our sharks”
Many are scared of sharks, but Sarah means that you don’t have to be because accidents happen extremely seldom.
- However, we should care for them. The number of sharks decreases for every year and if there are too few sharks, then the entire ecosystem in the ocean will collapse which would be a disaster for our whole planet. Go sharks!
Sarah’s top pick from the collection is the T-shirt with a white shark whose mouth is a pocket!
Sarah’s top pick from the new collection
We’re now launching our new collection in partnership with Sarah, and the author has lots of favorites.
“I think the whole collection turned out brilliantly, but if I had to single out my top pick then it’s probably the T-shirt with a white shark on it. The mouth opens with a zip and inside there’s a pocket with room for collecting treasures – and the shark’s teeth, of course!”