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Elys Dolan


Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Cambridge School of Art
Areas of Expertise:
Illustration, drawing and book art

Elys is an internationally published, award winning children's book author and illustrator. She teaches on the renowned MA in Children's Book Illustration and is conducting research into humour in picturebooks.

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Elys is a children's author and illustrator who works with publishers including Oxford University Press, Hodder and Nosy Crow. Elys is particularly interested in how humour can be used in children's books, and specialises in bad puns and exposed bums.

Elys' books have been recognized in various major awards including the Waterstones Children's Book Prize, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Zeena Sutherland Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature.

Research interests
  • Humour in Children’s Books
  • Wimmelbooks
  • Pictorial Essays

Elys is currently undertaking a PhD in children's books, concerning how picturebook-makers create humour. She also has a particular interest in wimmelbooks, a type of highly detailed children's book, and has created a pictorial essay discussing the application of wimmel imagery in picturebooks. To communicate her research, Elys has been experimenting with using the combination of word and image to create visual essays on a range of subjects.

  • The Sequential Image
  • Diploma Project
  • Diploma Review
  • Masters Stage Project
  • BA (Hons) Fine Art, Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University
  • MA Children's Book Illustration, Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University
Selected recent publications
Recent Children’s Books:

Dolan, E., 2017. Knighthood for Beginners. Oxford: Oxford University Press

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

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

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


Dolan, E., 2016. 'Comedy in picture books: how it's done'. The Guardian. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/gallery/2016/jun/29/comedy-in-picture-books-how-its-done-in-pictures.

Dolan, E., 2017. 'Dissecting Frogs. Books for Keeps'. 222 January, pp. 14-15.

Dolan, E., 2017. 'How Wimmelbooks Work: A Snail's Guide'. Sequentials. [online]