Five Very Bookish Questions with author Libby Hathorn

Which genre of children’s books do you like most and why?

My taste is far reaching depending on mood from realism to fantasy but a recent wonderful read is the novel Jasper Jones and a hum-dinger of a fantasy is The Night Circus.

Which books did you love to read as a young child?

I adored family stories such as Seven Little Australians, was an early fan of May Gibbs Scotty in Gumnutland series and  would be transported by a story such as The Secret Garden or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. A favourite picture book was The Red Balloon.

Which three attributes make for a great children’s book?

Freshness of characters (unless a sequel), a smooth flowing style that makes you want to turn pages (like the Harry Potter series) and an original idea.

What is your number one tip for encouraging children to read?

If anyone wants to write then they must read a lot and more than that, they must write a lot, too. Journals and diaries, scraps and fragments all can build into a new idea and thus into a new story. So my tip is to both read and write a lot!

Name three books you wish you’d written.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Alice in Wonderland and The Wind in the Willows.


About Libby

Libby Hathorn is an award-winning Australian author of more than fifty books for children. Her stories have been translated into several languages and adapted for stage and screen. Her work has won honours in Australia as well as in the United States, United Kingdom and Holland. She was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2003. She lives in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Published by

Tania McCartney

Tania McCartney is an author of children's books and adult non-fiction. Recent books include Riley and the Grumpy Wombat: A journey around Melbourne, and Australian Story: An Illustrated Timeline. She's also an editor, publisher and founder of Kids Book Review.