The observologist cover (showing an illustrated dragonfly) on a green background with yellow flowers.

Interview: Giselle Clarkson in conversation

The Observologist by artist and writer Giselle Clarkson is a book all about exploring the world of the small and the wonderful. As William Blake would say, the book is about exploring the mysteries of all creation in a grain of sand, and the book has a bucketful of fun as it does this.

The Observologist is a 101 handbook for mounting very small scientific expeditions in and around your home. The book looks at over 100 small creatures, plants, and other living things. Subjects range from slugs, ants, seeds, fungi, flies, bees, and even bird poop.

The book is much more than a list of interesting plants and animals, it is funny, playful, engaging, brilliant and a really practical collection of ideas about how to explore and engage with the natural world on your doorstep.

It is a fabulous outdoor boredom-busting book for all ages, but especially for inquisitive minds between 7-11.

Giselle Clarkson one of our finest cartoonists and illustrators. She is especially well known for her non-fiction comics on conservation and environmental issues. Though she has created loads of other books, such as illustrating The Gobbledegook Book by Joy Cowley, and Egg and Spoon: An Illustrated Cookbook.

We were thrilled when Giselle took time out from her very busy schedule to discuss The Observologist, and we wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to her. For more information visit Gecko Press.

You can see more of Giselle’s work online at and on Twitter at @giselledraws

This interview was done in conjunction with Caffeine and Aspirin, the arts and entertainment review show on Radioactive FM. You can hear the interview, as well borrow The Observologist  by following the links below.


The observologist / Clarkson, Giselle
“A playful field guide for natural scientists and curious observers of the world right under our noses.” (Adapted from Catalogue)




The gobbledegook book : a Joy Cowley anthology / Cowley, Joy
“The gobbledegook book collects favourite rhymes and stories from Joy Cowley in a bumper book for the whole family.” (Adapted from Catalogue)



Egg & spoon : an illustrated cookbook / Tylee, Alexandra
“A beautiful illustrated cookbook for children–and their families–that celebrates imagination and pleasure in cooking. A fun and modern cookbook for families packed with recipes for meals, snacks, treats, and a whole lot of humour. Alexandra Tylee’s lively inner ten-year-old knows exactly what food appeals to children and how to talk to kids about food. She trusts them to choose flavours and handle equipment in this joyful book that will set them on a lifetime love of healthy cooking and eating. Giselle Clarkson’s illustrations are salivatingly delicious and subversively playful.” (Adapted from Catalogue)
Secret world of butterflies / Meredith, Courtney Sina
“Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet, do a dark red poo when they come out of their chrysalises and that some drink the tears of crocodiles? How does the world look to them, do they ever sleep and how are some of them able to fly so high? This book will open your eyes to these magical creatures around us.” (Adapted from Catalogue)


The tiny woman’s coat / Cowley, Joy
“A tiny woman makes a coat out of objects she finds in nature.” (Adapted from Catalogue) Also  available as an eBook.