One of the perks of being an editor (actually, there are many) is that you can, occasionally, be involved - in a small way - in actively shaping how a book looks.

You can also, sometimes, work with people you'd never normally get to meet.

When we acquired Carol Ann Duffy's seasonal poem, Another Night Before Christmas, we needed just the right illustrator for it. It had to be someone whose art would complement Carol Ann's words, adding to the book visually without detracting from the verse; someone who could suggest something slightly old-worldly, something slightly fairy-tale-esque, even while depicting distinctly un-old-worldly images such as aerials and motorways, cashpoints and satellites; someone who people might have heard of, but who could do something a little bit different. Someone, in short, who could make Another Night into the perfect Christmas book.

Now, I'm an editor, not a designer - I deal in words, not pictures - but I had come across Rob Ryan before and loved the stuff of his that I'd seen - so I suggested him, managed to convince colleagues here (not hard since some of them were already huge fans) - and now, months later, we have the most beautiful finished books. And even though they're nothing to do with me, I'm really rather proud of them.

See more of Rob Ryan's illustrations.