A Q&A with Dilara Arin, writer & illustrator of Animal’s Book of Dance and Gogol the Golden Golem

Ever since they were small, the boys have always had a bedtime story read to them. It’s part of their daily bedtime routine, and they take it in turns to choose a book each evening. It’s a great way to wind down before bedtime, and more often than not, E will continue to read a few chapters of his own book before lights are switched off.

We were recently contacted by Dilara Arin, a local writer and illustrator who asked us whether we’d like to review her books: Animal’s Book of Dance and Gogol the Golden Golem.

I always like to support small businesses where I can so we were more than happy to check these books out and let you know our thoughts on them.

About Dilara Arin

Dilara was born in Instanbul/Turkey and came to the UK to study Animation. She illustrated books for other authors before writing and illustrating her own. Animal’s Book of Dance and Gogol, the Golden Golem, are her debut books.


Animal’s Book of Dance

Animal’s Book of Dance is fun and engaging for children. They can join in with the animal dance party and follow their funky footsteps.

The boys loved trying to copy the moves and even ended up making up a few of their own too!


Gogol the Golden Golem

Gogol the Golden Golem, suddenly loses his gold colour which makes him sad so he is on a mission to find it again. Along the way, he ends up on an adventure with his friends. Will Gogol ever become golden once more?


I won’t ruin the whole story for you, but this book is beautifully illustrated and packed full of colour.

The detail in the illustrations are fantastic and the boys were completely immersed in the story. So much so, they asked for it again and again. Gogol the Golden Golem really inspired their imagination too, they loved guessing what adventures Gogol would have next. E was even keen to find out if there would be a second book.



Dilara also very kindly did a little Q&A for us too. E came up with the questions in blue and mine are the ones in purple – take a look below.

dilara-arinQ&A with Dilara Arin

Does the story or the illustrations come to you first?
All my ideas for books come from a single image. I draw a lot of illustrations for my own pleasure, and a story will sometimes come out of one. I drew a Gogol the Golden Golem picture years ago (I even named him then!) and the story has been brewing at the back of my mind since.

Did you sketch the pictures out on a piece of paper first?
All of the pictures were sketched out first. I usually do very rough sketches on paper, then more in detail sketches on the computer.

How did you come up with the idea for Gogol?
I love myths and legends of every culture, and I love fantasy literature and games too. Golem is a creature I’ve always loved the idea of, and a golden Golem creates a lot of story opportunities!

Are you going to make a second book of Gogol?
I don’t plan for another Gogol book but there are plans for a Gogol animation and puppetry show!

What kind of paints did you use for Gogol?
Gogol was done all on computer, using Photoshop. I use various digital brushes, some made by other people and some made by me.

What was your favourite book that you made?
I like all the books I make but Gogol the Golden Golem is very special to me. There’s a little piece of me in all the characters I create but even more so in the characters in this book.

Being a local to Kingston (like we are), has there been anything in the local area that influences your story writing or illustrating?
I live very close to Richmond Park and this side of the park has a quite rough nature, especially in autumn and winter time, which has definitely been influencing my illustrations.

What are your plans for the future and what are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a new picture book and there is another one in the pipeline. A Gogol animated short and a puppet show are also amongst my plans.

Order your copies and receive 20% discount

Dilara is offering my readers a 20% discount on her books. Simply head over to her website and use the code: SuburbanMum20

*We received these books for the purpose of this post.


  1. Pingback: First review! - Illusian Publishing

  2. Pingback: A Q&A with Dilara Arin, writer & illustrator of Animal's Book of Dance and Gogol the Golden Golem - Social Box Office

  3. The illustration in these looks beautiful! (I’m so picky when buying early years books because I have to like the art in them.) I bet the animated short will be awesome. #KCACOLS

  4. LOVE THIS interview. Esp like that you have photos of the kids enjoying them instead of just the book. 🙂 cheers, kcd #KCACOLS

  5. welshmumofone

    These books like beautiful and really unique. It’s so great to support local authors too. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

  6. Mainy - myrealfairy

    Interesting read and really good to have an interview with the author. I never knew about digital brushes, its great to hear more.

  7. This was fascinating – I’ve always wondered how children’s books come to be produced! #KCACOLS

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