From these thumbnails I went straight to the final illustrations. There are over 350 historical characters in History Atlas, but I tried to make sure each one had a strong sense of individuality; and that they were more than just symbols for roles or events. Their expressions, movements and interactions have to imbue each one with all the meaning that couldn’t fit in the text.

In Mummy, a lot of what Henry experiences and finds interesting happens away from the grand temples and pyramids that we associate with ancient Egypt. It was great fun to try and imagine what everyday moments, like dinner, would look like. I worked from lists of possible recipes in academic history books and came up with a table full of fantastic food. (I might have taken some liberties with the roasted hyena garnish.) I love spending ages in details no one probably notices, like silly frescoes on tomb walls, grumpy camels and all types of stuff. It helps me feel like the world I’m drawing is much larger than the small bit we’re paying attention to at that moment.

Also by Thiago de Moraes:

I always draw with ink pens and brushes on paper, then scan the black line and paint the colour digitally. Drawing with black ink can feel quite definite, but I don’t plan every detail of what I’ll draw before starting. Leaving space for new ideas to appear as I go along feels more enjoyable and allows for a lot of stuff that didn’t find its way into the text to appear in the illustrations in a natural way.

I have been doing this for a while, but I still have a huge sense of gratitude and wonder at being able to spend my time creating these worlds and stories. When I finish making a book I inevitably feel a bit sad (and relieved, depending on the deadline). I know I’ll miss the characters in the book and all the collaborators who make it with me. It’s like saying goodbye to friends who I went on an extraordinary journey with.

A Mummy Ate My Homework (978-1407194929, £8.99 pbk), Myth Atlas (978-1499808285, £18.99 hdbk) and History Atlas (978-1407189239, £20.00 hdbk) are all published by Scholastic.

This is no ordinary Atlas … embark on a global tour through time in

Thi i

T e t


Packed with queens, inventorsors a

at its mos entertainin

and explorers from Ancient Egypt to Ethiopia, this is history at its most entertaining

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