Why I wrote a children’s book
Mystical lands that can be found over the rainbow, down a rabbit hole or through a wardrobe have always captured my imagination. My parents would read magical stories to me before I was old enough to read them myself (and afterwards because I Ioved hearing my Dad doing different accents for all the characters!). I can’t wait to experience some of my favourites all over again when I get to read them to my son. It will be lovely to watch him getting caught up in the magic. I think I will enjoy them just as much this time around, as CS Lewis said, ‘A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a very good children’s story in the slightest.’ For me, the beauty of books is that they are completely absorbing. In a world where we have so many distractions and things fighting for our attention all day long, it’s vital for us to be able to take some time out from the noise. When you get swept up in a story, you can be transported to another place, alongside the characters that you grow to know, feeling what they are feeling. I think it’s so important that we teach and encourage children to use their imaginations, so I wanted my book to encourage this and to spark a sense of adventure. I still remember all my favourite children’s stories so vividly, in a way that I certainly don’t remember most books that I read as an adult (it’s a miracle if I can remember the title of the book I am currently reading!). I think the memorability is partially because of the way they make you feel and partially due to their uniqueness. Magical creatures, terrifying villains or enchanted places build such vivid pictures that they stay with you. I hope that my story does the same for the children who read it and that it can become one of the books that they go back to time and time again. Below is a list of my favourite books from my childhood (from when I was slightly older and reading them myself). • Lewis Carroll - Alice in wonderland • CS Lewis - The Narnia series • Roald Dahl - BFG • Roald Dahl - Fantastic Mr Fox (I’d like to include all of his books but they’d take up the whole list so if I had to pick, these are my favourites!) • JRR Tolkien - The Hobbit • Mary Norton - The Borrowers • Jill Murphy - The Worst Witch series • Enid Blyton - Tuppeny, Feefo & Jinks • Frances Hodgson Burnett - The Secret Garden • Philippa Pearce – Tom’s Midnight Garden (Obviously Harry Potter is a gaping omission here, but I felt it would be cheating to include them as I was actually an adult when I read the series!) I’d love to hear what some of your favourite childhood books were as well as any newer gems that your kids love.