Which genre of children’s books do you like most and why?
I love verse novels, poetry, fantasy and historical narrative. Ooh sorry for liking so many – I’m sure there are more also. There are so many enthralling genres for children’s books now and I love verse novels and poetry for the concentrated does of emotion and sensory experiences they bring to the reader. And fantasy novels are so rich and varied now and the writing so powerful.
Historical fiction has always been a special delight to me as the atmosphere and the unique details bring to life a rich journey undertaken by people similar to us, yet reacting and living in a differently orientated world.
Which books did you love to read as a young child?
One I especially love (and still have the copy) is Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald. Fairy tales, my sister’s books… English school girl comics… horse books. Once I arrived at high school I was bewildered by a school library (no such thing in my primary school) and borrowed vociferously. I remember discovering Nancy Drew there – books about Egypt, historical romance, adventure, A Wrinkle in Time – I read and read and read.
Which three attributes make for a great children’s book?
Atmosphere, a feisty character who draws empathy from the reader and a surprise-laden plot.
What is your number one tip for encouraging children to read?
Read aloud to your young toddler; read aloud and share with your young child at all ages; taking trips to the local library together; sharing choices in the local bookshop; subscribing to a magazine; showing the love you yourself have for books and bookcases!!
And also starting a family diary or journal, where you all write a sentence each- about your day, your week – extra chances to read!
Name three books you wish you’d written.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Love that Dog by Sharon Creech
The Truth about Verity Sparks by Susan green
Lorraine Marwood is a poet and author. Her fifth book with Walker books will be published in 2013. She has written two verse novels and five collections of poetry. Her verse novel Star Jumps won the Prime Minister’s award for children’s fiction in 2010. She is also the author of two Aussie Nibbles and loves taking poetry/creative writing workshops with both children and adults.