Five Very Bookish Questions with author Michael Wagner

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

Humour’s my favourite children’s book genre, although I do like horror, magic-realism and sport as well. I’m not sure what it is about humour that I like so much, but it certainly does lift my spirits and make me feel happy. Maybe that’s a good enough reason to like it.

The books in this genre I’d recommend are anything by Roald Dahl, Paul Jennings and Dav Pilkey. And lots of stuff by Anthony Horowitz as well!

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

I loved reading Asterix and a series called Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators. I loved that series so much that my friends and I formed our own little trio of investigators, complete with our own business card. Didn’t get any business unfortunately – which is probably why I’m an author now rather than a private eye.

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

Lovable characters
Interesting or funny problems to solve
A believable or hilarious world

The above authors do this well – but throw in Morris Gleitzman while I’m at it.

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

Read to them every night until they’re surprisingly old – like 12 or even up to 15 (if they’ll let you). Just make reading a daily, enjoyable habit.

Name three books you wish you’d written.

To Kill A Mocking Bird
The Big Honey Hunt

Michael Wagner is the author of 50 children’s books, including the funny, action-packed Maxx Rumble series, The Undys, Dog Wars, Destiny’s Right Hand, and the delightful new adventures of stuffed survivalist, Ted – Ted Goes Wild, Ted Gets Lost, Ted Hits Town. As well as writing books, Michael sings and composes songs for his band, The Grownups, and has previously worked in radio with the ABC, written and produced award-winning television, and written and performed comedy.

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.